Why Is Exercise Important When You Have Gout
Exercise has a protective effect when it comes to living with gout. Not only does it decrease uric acid levels in the blood, but some research has found that consistent exercise can extend lifespan by 46 years in people who have elevated uric acid levels .
Since weight gain and obesity increase uric acid levels, then reversing these issues will also decrease the risk of an acute gout flare up . Whats more, exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation .
Exercise also decreases insulin resistance, which also increases the risk of a gout flare up. This in conjunction with a low-calorie eating plan have been shown to be the most effective non-drug related interventions to decrease gout symptoms .
The other area where exercise can be helpful for people who suffer from gout is in restoring strength and flexibility after an acute flare up.
Pain decreases your activity level, and when the body is not moving much, your joints can stiffen and become less flexible. A recent clinical review showed exercise modalities can be beneficial for restoring your ability after the immobility of a gout flare up .
Additionally, another study found that people with gout who exercised regularly were less likely to develop tophi, or the bulbous-looking joints that result from uric acid crystal buildup .
Expert Q& a: Why Is My Gout Not Getting Better
Make sure you really have gout if you arent responding to therapy. Learn about gouts possible mimics.
Question: I am 29 years old and have gout, for which I take allopurinol , indomethacin and colchicine. I dont drink alcohol, and I have tried to limit the purine-rich foods in my diet, because Ive heard these can makegoutworse. But the bad attacks are becoming worse. What should Ido? Answer:The treatment of gout is plagued by multiple misconceptions. Most people with gout do not overindulge in either alcoholic beverages or purine-rich foods, and even for those who do, eliminating these items is seldom enough in itself to improve gout symptoms. I can think of two possible reasons your treatment has not helped. The first is that you may not really have gout, which occurs when a waste product called uric acid builds up in the blood and then is deposited as crystals in the joints and other tissues. Did your doctor draw fluid from an affected joint and find urate crystals in it? If not, you may actually have some other type of arthritis, one that would require a different type of treatment. Conditions that are often confused with gout include:
Which Joints Are Involved In Gouty Arthritis And Why Is It Most Common In The Foot
As with all other known types of arthritis, Gout has particular joints it tends to attack, and the foot is its most common location. Gout especially favors the bunion joint, known as the first metatarsophalangeal joint , but the ankle, midfoot and knee are also common locations, as is the bursa that overlies the elbow.
The bunion joint is the first joint involved in 75% of patients and is ultimately involved in over 90% of those with this condition. . It is thought that this joint is especially involved in gout because it is the joint that receives the highest pounds per square inch of pressure when walking or running.
Late in gout, if untreated, multiple joints can be involved, including the fingers and wrists. The shoulder joint is very rarely involved by gout and the same is true of the hip.
Figure 5: Location of Gout Attacks
Don’t Miss: Are Almonds High In Purines
How To Treat Gout
There are several ways to treat and help the patient overcome a brief gout disorder. Often the doctor will prescribe two types of medicine. One is to immediately alleviate pain and reduce the uric acid level in the blood, and another medication to prevent getting gout attacks.
One of the most common treatments is an injection of corticosteroids into the affected joint. This helps break up those crystals that sit in the joints and relieve gout. Corticosteroids, in some cases, are given in the form of pills rather than in shot. This treatment is usually used only in patients with gout who arent allowed to take colchicine or NSAIDs. Corticosteroids can cause some side effects such as high blood pressure, raised in blood sugar level, and mood changes.
Colchicine is a type of pain reliever that helps alleviate gout pain. Your doctor may suggest colchicine, but some people dont like to take this drug because of side effects, especially when taken in large quantities. To prevent future gout attacks, your doctor may recommend you take a small dose of colchicine daily.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : Ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen are inflammatory that can be bought without a prescription. More powerful drugs such as Indocin or celecoxib can be taken too, but with a prescription.
Drugs that limit uric acid production:
Drugs that help remove uric acid:
Managing A Gout Flare
Gout flares are unexpected and painful heres how to get a handle on them.
Few things in life are more painful than a gout flare, so if youre awakened in the wee hours by a joint that is tender, swollen, red and radiating heat, youll want to act fast. Heres what you can do when a gout flare starts to ease the pain and reduce the risk of others.
Take Medicine You Have on Hand. Start treatment immediately with over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen , but never take aspirin, which can worsen a flare. If you have had a flare before and your doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication to take in the event of another, take your prescribed medication as your doctor directed. If you are already taking a uric acid-lowering drug to reduce the risk of flares, continue to take that drug.
Ice Down. Applying an ice pack to the painful joint may help ease pain and inflammation. Wrap a pack in a dish cloth and apply to the area for 20- to 30-minutes at a stretch several times a day.
Let your doctor know what is going on right away. She may prescribe a new medication, or have you come to the office for a joint fluid test or an injection of a corticosteroid to start relieving inflammation quickly. Getting treatment within the first 24 hours of the start of a flare can lessen its length and severity.
Get a Cane. Walking with a cane during an acute gou flare can help keep pressure off your painful joint.
Also Check: Is Onion Good For Gout
Why Is Gout Most Common In The Feet
Every part of the human body has a different temperature, even though the overall normal body temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit. The coldest parts of the human body are the feet and toes, as theyre the farthest from the heart.
Gout is most common in the feet, as uric acid will crystallize in cooler temperatures. The temperature of your feet can drop as low as 77° Fahrenheit. This may also be why gout attacks are more common in the colder season, as well as cooler climates.
Over 75% of people who experience gout will find that it develops in the base of the joint of the big toemetatarsophalangeal joint. While gout may be common in the feet, it can also affect the handswhich are also colderelbows, and knees.
How To Live With Gout
Although you cant predict when a gout attack will occur, there are several things you can do to try to prevent an attack. Developing a healthy lifestyle is one of these things.
The lifestyle tips below play a major role in preventing a gout attack. As an added bonus, they may also help prevent some complications of gout such as kidney disease and heart disease.
Limit alcohol and foods rich in purines. When you have gout, you should avoid purine-rich foods such as fatty meats and shellfish. Also, limit alcoholespecially beerbecause it can increase your uric acid levels. The good news is that eating certain foods, such as cherries, coffee, and foods rich in vitamin C, can help prevent gout attacks. Read our in-depth article for more on a .
Also, as part of any healthy diet, you should drink plenty of water. This is particularly important if you have gout since staying hydrated can help flush out uric acid and prevent uric acid crystals from forming.
Cut out the stress in your life. Stress may trigger a gout attack, and it can exacerbate symptoms of a gout attack. While its impossible to completely eliminate all of your stress, there are a number of ways to help minimize it. If youre experiencing a gout attack, reducing your stress can also help you focus on things other than the pain.
What stress management techniques work for gout? Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing. A little bit of stress relief can go a long way.
Recommended Reading: Are Almonds Good For Gout
Walking With Gout Safety
Unfortunately, I could not find studies that investigate if it is better to walk or to rest when you have gout in your feet. However, the fact that these investigations have taken place is an indication that walking is harmless and useful. But, you should discuss the reports with your doctor to see if you should rest or walk with gout.
Myth: Gout Pain Always Attacks The Big Toe
Truth: Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood, forming crystals that lodge in and inflame joints. Its true that gout often first attacks the joints of the big toe, but it can also occur in the knees, ankles, feet and hands. In women with osteoarthritis, for example, gout pain commonly starts in the small joints of the hands. Although the first attacks often involve only one or two joints, over time multiple joints become affected. If the disease isnt treated, it can cause permanent damage.
Avoiding alcohol may reduce your chance of getting gout attacks.
Recommended Reading: Side Effects Of Allopurinol And Alcohol
Who Is Affected By Gout
Gout is more prevalent in those whose bodies host a high acidic environment, For most of their lives, men tend to have a higher acidic balance in their bodies compared to women. Studies show that men actually suffer from gout 4:1 over women.
Additional Interesting Facts
- Men tend to develop gout before the age of 50, whereas women tend to develop gout later in life – after menopause.
- Some people are more susceptible than others based on their diet and pre-existing heath issues
- Gout tends to most affect those who live in colder environments.
Make Physical Activity A Part Of Your Life
Check in with your doctor before starting an exercise program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults do 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, per week. An ideal exercise routine includes three components:
Aerobic exercise. These activities increase your heart rate and boost endurance. Aim to include some type of aerobic exercise in your program three to four times per week for about 30 minutes at a time. You could try walking or using a stationary bicycle. Or consider taking a dip. Swimming and exercising in warm water may feel good on . You may find its easier to move your joints in the water than on land. Plus, the water supports your body and reduces wear and tear on your joints.
Flexibility exercise. These exercises help improve your range of motion. Increasing your flexibility will make other types of exercise easier and will help you move around more comfortably during your day. Try carving out 15 minutes to stretch every day. Move slowly and smoothly when you stretch.
Strengthening exercise. If youve been inactive because of painful and , your muscles may be weak. Lifting weights and doing resistance exercises will help increase your strength. Stronger muscles support your joints and prevent injury. Go slow to prevent injury, and intensify your workout as you gain strength. As you get stronger, everyday activities such as climbing stairs and lifting heavy objects will become easier to do.
Read Also: Almond Good For Gout
Walking With Gout Is Difficult
Study 1 confirms walking is much harder for gout sufferers.
In conclusion, the foot is frequently affected by acute gout flares. Patients with acute gout flares experience severe foot pain, impairment, and disability.
Also, it introduces the idea that footwear might play a part in making walking with gout easier. Which agrees with my own gouty walking experience.
Bbc Breakfast: Charlie Stayt Reveals In 2014 That He Had Gout
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Despite its associations with historical banquets and over-indulgence, gout is a common form of arthritis in the UK. People with gout experience flare-ups or gout attacks from time to time, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a gout attack.
Recommended Reading: Gout In Heel Pictures
I Have Gout Can I Still Walk For Exercise
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
Tips For Reducing Your Discomfort Due To Gout Symptoms
Gout does not totally prevent you from becoming active and walking regularly. The major trick to get comfort is to raise the workout intensity slowly. You have to consult your therapist and physician before creating your exercise routine. There are some tips to help you in walking comfortably and doing workouts with your gout problems.
Recommended Reading: Is Pickle Juice Good For Gout
Uric Acid Is The Cause
When there is an overabundance of uric acid in the blood it is called gout. Usually, having too much uric acid in the blood is not harmful. In fact many people with high levels in their blood never know about it. When uric acid levels in the blood become extremely high, the uric acid may start to form crystals. These crystals most commonly form in the joints, especially the joints in the big toe. Your odds of experiencing the pain of gout are higher if you are overweight, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or have a diet that is comprised of meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines.
Ghost Pain Of Gout In The Feet
After a gout attack dissipates, some pain and discomfort may be felt in the affected area for up to a few weeks, like a faded painful memory. It is usually during this time that gout can wind up spreading to other joints of the body, such as the ankles, oft times the heels, and commonly to other parts of the body as well.
Once you have experienced your first gout attack, it is not uncommon for flare-ups to become commonplace with future flare-ups occurring more frequently and with much more intensity over time.
You May Like: Cherry Juice For Gout Mayo Clinic
Gout In Ankle Cant Walk
I have always enjoyed walking. So before I got my uric acid safe, I found it very hard to walk with gout. Because my most common gouty joint in the early days was my ankle. I believe that happened because my job entailed prolonged driving. So my ankles were often the lowest part of my body in the coldest part of my car.
In my experience, I noticed:
- Foot and ankle gout often made me walk badly. Besides walking being painful, I noticed that limping often caused discomfort in my knees and back.
- At first I gave in to the pain. So I often rested for 2 or 3 days until I found walking easier.
- On days I was forced to work, I noticed that my gout pain resolved quicker.
- As I learned more about gout I realized, for me, it was best to use prescription-strength pain relief. Because that got me walking as soon as possible.
- After walking with gout many times I realized that solid supporting shoes are vital. Because flimsy footwear doesnt support gouty feet properly. Then that encourages more pain and more damaging limping. Also, I found it better to wear slightly larger walking shoes padded with extra socks.
In later discussions with other gout sufferers, some have agreed with my Walk with Gout ASAP approach. But others have found that resting gouty feet and ankles gives them less pain. So to help you work out whats best for you, lets look at the science of gout walking.
What You Can Do
If you think your condition is getting worse, talk to your doctor. They will give you medicine to keep your uric acid levels low and to try to prevent future attacks and complications.
Allopurinol treats chronic gout by lowering the uric acid produced in your body.
also lowers uric acid production but would be used with caution if you are at risk for heart or blood vessel disease.
Once you start taking these medicines, youâll need to take them for life so that your uric acid stays at the right levels.
Probenecid and lesinurad help the body get rid of more uric acid in your urine. Pegloticase and rasburicase can break down uric acid into a substance that your body can get rid of. They are only for very severe gout that doesnât get better with usual treatments.
Scientists are also testing new treatments for chronic gout. At the same time, researchers are getting a better understanding of how the body makes and breaks down uric acid. Insights from this research could lead to new treatments in the future.
Read Also: Are Onions High In Purines