Pain And Swelling Are Gouts Calling Cards
The most frequent signs of a gout attack are swelling, tenderness, redness, and a sharp pain in your big toe. These attacks are most common at night when you are sitting still and laying flat on your back. While gout usually manifests in the big toe, you may also experience gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees. The attacks can be short or long, anywhere from a few days to weeks and you may not have another attack may for months or years.
The Role Of Physical Activity In Prevention Of Gout
Along with diet, physical activity can help with weight loss, and gout has been associated with being overweight.7 in patients with well-established gout, especially if X-rays have demonstrated joint damage in the foot, a low-impact exercise program is reasonable. An exercise program combined with diet in gout can reduce risk for attacks.7 If an attack seems to be coming on in the lower extremity, patients are well-advised to try to get off their feet, since impact seems to worsen gout attacks. Clues to an attack of gout coming on include local swelling, heat, redness, and tenderness in a joint, especially in the foot, ankle, or knee. Some patients have fever and chills as the first warning that an attack of gout is coming on.
Try Natural Remedies For Gout
There are some nutrients that could be helpful.
- Proanthocyanidins can help neutralise uric acid and reduce inflammation
- Quercetin can reduce uric acid and may also provide relief
- Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, so add a supplement if youre also cutting out certain seafoods that are rich in purines
- Heard about cherry juice for gout? Its proposed that tart cherry juice could temporarily lower blood uric acid levels, but more research is required to fully understand this link5
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Safe Movement During A Gout Flare
Gout is caused by a build-up of high levels of uric acid in the body that forms microscopic crystals. These uric acid crystals can settle in your joints, often in your big toe at the middle joint or where your toe connects to your foot. A build-up of uric acid crystals can also settle in your midfoot joint and your ankle, creating severe pain that is sharp, may be visibly swollen, and may even look red and feel warm to the touch.
These lower extremity joints are weightbearing joints, so movement such as walking is difficult and very, very painful when someone is in a gout flare, Dr. Iverson says.
A typical gout flare can last up to two weeks, though it can start to feel better quickly when treated with anti-inflammatory medication.
When youre in the midst of a gout flare, Dr. Iversen recommends reducing weight on your feet and other weightbearing joints by using a walking aid, such as a cane, that you hold in the hand opposite your affected foot in order to unload the joint.
Unloading the joint relieves the force put on your joint, which can reduce inflammation and allow you to move about for your daily activities, she says. You can also use ice and cold to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, but this should be based on your personal tolerance as the joints can be very sensitive.
Can I Do Anything At Home To Relieve Gout Pain
Besides seeing your podiatrist, there are things you can do to ease the pain and swelling caused by gout. Raise and rest the affected limb, and use a splint to immobilize the joint. Also, do not exercise vigorously. Try keeping the joint cool by applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Remember, dont apply cold items directly onto the skin. Lastly, do not cover the joint.
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How Does Food Affect Gout
If you have gout, certain foods may trigger an attack by raising your uric acid levels.
Trigger foods are commonly high in purines, a substance found naturally in foods. When you digest purines, your body makes uric acid as a waste product .
This is not a concern for healthy people, as they efficiently remove excess uric acid from the body.
However, people with gout cant efficiently remove excess uric acid. Thus, a high-purine diet may let uric acid accumulate and cause a gout attack (
However, there is one exception to this rule. Research shows that high-purine vegetables do not trigger gout attacks .
And interestingly, fructose and sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of gout and gout attacks, even though theyre not purine-rich (
For instance, a study including over 125,000 participants found that people who consumed the most fructose had a 62% higher risk of developing gout .
Summary: Foods can either raise or lower your uric acid levels, depending on their purine content. However, fructose can raise your uric acid levels even though it is not purine-rich.
Risk Factors And Potential Causes Of Gout
Gout strikes men more often than women until women undergo menopause, and then women experience increased risk. Being overweight or obese, having recent surgery, and experiencing a trauma also increase your risk, as well as your family history.
Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines a substance found naturally in your body, and also in high-protein red meat, organ meat, and certain types of seafood. In addition, alcoholic drinks, beer, and beverages sweetened with fructose can raise your natural uric acid levels. When your body either creates too much uric acid or excretes too little, it can lead to gout. Hundreds of years ago, gout was called the disease of kings because the average peasant couldnt afford such rich food and drink.
Medical conditions like untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can also increase your chances of developing gout, as does taking certain medications, such as thiazide diuretics and low-dose aspirin.
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Avoid Consuming Large Amounts Of Food High In Purines
Purines are chemical compounds found in some foods and drinks.
Gout sufferers find the chemical harder to metabolise, so avoiding consuming large amounts of high purine foods is advisable.
Beef, lamb, game, offal, and some seafoods such as mackerel, mussels, anchovies, sardines, crab and herring are all examples.
High-fat dairy products, yeast, beer and gravy are also sources.3,4
Patients With Gout Need To Stay Active To Maintain Cardiovascular Health And Protect Joints From Long
Should I walk or engage in any exercise when I have gout? Many people with gout ask themselves this question. And the answer is yes except during a painful gout flare, according to Maura Daly Iversen, PT, MPH, DPT, SD, FAPTA, a physical therapist and behavioral scientist/clinical epidemiologist with a primary focus in rheumatology and Dean of the College of Health Professions at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
When in a gout flare, even the pressure of a bed sheet can be extremely painful, Dr. Iversen says. Most patients feel better by elevating their feet and resting and thats okay.
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Summary: Is Food The Answer To How To Treat Gout
Gout is common but widely misunderstood.
There is a misconception that it is directly linked to alcohol consumption and gluttony, but diet is more likely to be a trigger for an attack rather than the sole cause.
Although dietary changes alone cannot get rid of gout, adapting what you eat can boost wellness and help with living with the condition.
And remember, it is a serious, chronic condition, so always follow the advice of a doctor on how to treat gout.
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
: 17 August 2021
Best Diet For Gout: What To Eat What To Avoid
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Gout is a type of arthritis, an inflammatory condition of the joints. It affects an estimated 8.3 million people in the US alone (
Fortunately, gout can be controlled with medications, a gout-friendly diet and lifestyle changes.
This article reviews the best diet for gout and what foods to avoid, backed by research.
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Pain Relief Without Medicine
Use cold. If your pain isn’t too bad, try cold packs or compresses on the joint to lower inflammation and soothe the ache. Wrap ice in a thin towel and apply it to the joint for up to 20 minutes several times a day. Do not apply ice to your hands or feet if you have nerve problems from diabetes or other causes.
Rest the joint. It’s a good idea to rest it until the pain eases up. You probably won’t want to move it much anyway. If you can, raise the joint on a pillow or other soft object.
Drink water. When your body doesnât have enough water, your uric acid levels rise even higher. Stay hydrated to help keep those levels normal.
Watch what you eat and drink. Foods that are high in substances called purines, such as some seafood, organ meats like liver, and fatty foods, can raise the uric acid in your blood even more. So can fructose-sweetened drinks and alcohol — especially beer.
Easing Back Into Walking And Exercise After A Gout Flare
After a gout flare subsides, Dr. Iversen suggests aquatic exercises may be a good way to start re-engaging in exercise because the buoyancy of the water will reduce the impact on the joints.
Low-impact aerobic exercises can be helpful, too, such as on an elliptical machine. She says its important to keep your joints flexible by incorporating stretching and range-of-motion exercises once the gout flare subsides to promote good joint movement.
Be careful not to overdo it once you ease into post-flare exercise, she cautions. Patients should not be experiencing pain when walking once the flare has subsided. If you do experience pain with walking after a flare, go back to using a walking support and reduce your planned exercise until the pain subsides.
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Take Your Prescription Drugs
If you’ve had a gout attack before, your physician may have prescribed drugs to treat attacks. This may be your first line of defense or you may decide to use them only when NSAIDs fail to relieve your pain.
Prescription medications to treat gout include:
- Prednisolone oral tablets, which has been shown to work as well as NSAIDs and often doesnt cause the same stomach upset. Prednisolone is a type of corticosteroid and does carry other potential side effects, particularly if it is taken for longer than the recommended 5 days.4
- Colchicine, which has been shown effective in reducing pain and inflammation if taken in the first 24 hours of an attack. Always follow your physicians instructions regarding dosing to decrease your risk for potential complications and side effects.
Opioid painkillers, such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, are not recommended to treat the pain caused by gout.
What Can Increase Your Risk
A high level of uric acid in the blood is the main factor that increases your risk of developing gout. However, it’s still uncertain why some people with a high level of uric acid in the blood develop gout, while others with an equally high level don’t.
Other factors that may increase your risk of developing gout are outlined below.
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Preventing And Treating Gout
When you first come to AllCare Foot & Ankle Center with gout symptoms, we conduct a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment. We typically prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help control symptoms and prevent further joint damage.
If youve already had or continue to have multiple gout attacks, it can lead to a variety of health complications, including the erosion and destruction of your toe joint and the development of kidney stones. This is why preventing future gout attacks is essential for your overall health and wellness, not just for relieving the pain in your toe.
We recommend the following to help prevent future gout flare ups:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Limit or avoid alcoholic drinks
- Reduce meat, poultry, and seafood in your diet
- Consume more low-fat dairy products for protein
- Lose weight, if necessary
The common symptoms of gout arent something you should ignore, and we can help you get it under control. Give us a call at our Arlington or Dallas offices, or request an appointment online today.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Gout
Any joint can be affected by gout, but it usually affects joints towards the ends of the limbs, such as the toes, ankles, knees and fingers.
Signs and symptoms of gout include:
- severe pain in one or more joints
- the joint feeling hot and very tender
- swelling in and around the affected joint
- red, shiny skin over the affected joint
Symptoms develop rapidly over a few hours and typically last three to 10 days. After this time the pain should pass and the joint should return to normal.
Almost everyone with gout will experience further attacks at some point, usually within a year.
Read more about the complications of gout.
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Why Do I Suffer From Gout
One word: hyperuricemia. Or, in other words, increased uric acid in your blood. This is the reason why your joints are painful and inflamed. Uric acid is a normal product in your body it is a substance that breaks down purines in your body which are found in certain foods that we eat, in addition to being found in human cells. When your body overproduces uric acid, youre at risk for developing gout. But, why would your body overproduce uric acid?
The triggers of hyperuricemia include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Eating large amounts of red meat and shellfish
- Drinking sugary sodas
It is these types of triggers that can create the hyperuricemia, which can result in gout. When you overproduce uric acid, your kidneys have to work harder to flush out the extra uric acid out of your bloodstream, as they would normally do.
Exercising Helps Control Gout By Lowering Uric Acid Levels To Prevent Gout Attacks
Researchers have found that fat in the body carries more uric acid than muscle. Thus, when you reduce body fat, you can reduce uric acid levels in your blood, Dr. Iversen notes. Building cardiovascular health through exercise is also very important for people with gout because they have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, according to Harvard Health. Gout is also strongly associated with developing coronary artery disease.
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New Guidelines Suggest Doing More Of The Same The Problem Is That Many People Don’t
You never forget your first gout attack. The severe pain, swelling, and redness hits hard and fast. The initial attack often strikes your big toe’s large joint, but later ones might affect the foot or ankle. Other hot spots include the knees, hands, and wrists.
First-line treatment is quite effective and includes anti-inflammatory medications, ice therapy, and rest. A combination of diet and lifestyle changes and prescription drugs an approach called urate-lowering therapy, or ULT is typically recommended if attacks recur or become more severe.
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Common Myths About Gout
Drinking too much alcohol and eating too much rich food were once considered the prime suspects in causing gout. Although eating certain foods and drinking alcohol may cause uric acid levels to spike, these habits alone may not cause gout.
A recent study indicates that our DNA is a key factor in gout flare-ups. Researchers found that diet was less important than genetics in determining whether or not patients would develop high levels of uric acid.
If you suspect you have gout, make an appointment with your doctor to be tested and learn how to prevent or reduce future gout attacks.
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How Do I Prevent Gout
There are medications available to reduce the risk of future gout attacks. These medications are usually taken after the gout attack is over. Medications are used to:
- Reduce uric acid production: A drug called Allupurinol can reduce the amount of acid the body produces. This lowers the chances of a gout attack reoccurring. Patients have experienced rashes or have had a low blood count after taking Allupurinol.
- Remove uric acid more successfully: Probenecid is a medication that helps the kidneys eliminate uric acid more efficiently which in turn lowers the uric acid levels in the blood. This reduces the chance of another gout attack. Rashes, stomach pain and kidney stones have been experienced as side effects.
Lastly, you can change your eating habits. Nutrition hasnt been proven to reduce the risk of gout, however, it makes sense not to eat too many foot items that are high in purines. Reduce your intake of fats, alcohol and foods that are more likely to increase the amount of uric acid in the body. Try to eat less meat, bacon, mussels, sardines and yeast. Cutting back on alcohol, especially beer can also be helpful.
Are you afraid you may be suffering from gout? The podiatrist at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle Care can help. The staff has been serving the Berkley, Southfield, Royal Oak, Oak Park, and Ferndale areas for 30+ years. Schedule an appointment via our website, or by calling 545-0100.