How Is Gout Diagnosed
Your health care provider will get your complete medical history and do a physical exam. She may run these exams and tests to diagnose gout:
- Ajoint fluid analysis to see if uric acid crystals are present. This is the only certain way to diagnose gout.
- Tests to measure uric acid levels in blood and urine
There are many conditions with symptoms similar to gout. Be sure to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
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.
Applying Ice To Affected Joints
Applying a cloth-covered ice pack to the joint can help reduce gout-related inflammation.
Try applying an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel for 1015 minutes at a time to help relieve pain.
If gout is affecting the feet, a person can also use a pack of frozen vegetables covered with a washcloth, as this may drape more easily over the feet.
Heightened stress can worsen a persons gout symptoms. While it is not always possible to eliminate all sources of stress, the following tips might help:
- exercising, such as taking a brief walk, if the pain does not limit movement
- asking for time off from work
- journaling or reading a favorite book
- listening to music
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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.
How To Get Gout Relief At Home
This article was co-authored by Siddharth Tambar, MD. Dr. Siddharth Tambar, MD is a board certified rheumatologist at Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. With over 19 years of experience, Dr. Tambar specializes in Regenerative Medicine and Rheumatology, with a focus on Platelet rich plasma and Bone marrow derived stem cell treatments for arthritis, tendinitis, injuries, and back pain. Dr. Tambar holds a BA in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo. He earned his MD from State University of New York at Syracuse. He completed his Internship, Residency in Internal Medicine, and his Rheumatology Fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr Tambar is board certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine. He also holds Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Diagnostic and Interventional certifications from the American College of Rheumatology and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 466,423 times.
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Ways To Deal With Painful Gout Attacks
Its difficult to focus on work or other daily activities when youre experiencing gout inflammation and pain. Symptoms can last for a few days or even weeks, with the worst pain usually occurring in the first day or two.
While the best thing to do is talk to your physician, there are several steps you can take right away ease your gout symptoms:
Excess uric acid in the bloodstream can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in one or more joints, resulting in gout.Read:All About Gout – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Elevating The Affected Joints
Gout can cause pain and swelling, especially in the feet, hands, knees, and ankles.
One way to reduce swelling is by elevating the affected joints. This encourages blood and fluid to move away from the joint and back toward the heart.
A person can also use an ice-pack in combination with elevation to reduce their gout symptoms.
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Take Care Of Yourself
Get other health conditions under control. Gout is linked with high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and kidney disease. If you have any of those problems, get treatment.
Ask your doctor if you need to make changes to the medications you take. Aspirin, diuretics for high blood pressure, and drugs for people whoâve had an organ transplant can trigger gout. Your doctor can help you find other alternatives.
Drink more fluids. You may lower your odds of gout if you drink at least eight glasses of fluids a day. Make sure that at least half of that is water.
What Do You Drink To Help With Gout: What You Need To Know
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What Youll Want To Remember To Do
10) Get a cane
It can be tough to accept, but walking with a cane during an acute gout attack will keep pressure off your painful joints and make life a lot more pleasant. For styling with a cane, there are some pretty darn cool ones out there on the Internet. A few of our favorite canes can be found at https://www.fashionablecanes.com/ and https://thewalkingcanestore.com/
11) Wear Warm Clothes When its Cold
If you live in a cold climatic area, you are susceptible to gout. Keep yourself warm by donning thick clothes and socks. Avoid exposing your feet to the cold, as gout often affects the big toe. Also, ensure that you sleep in a room that is slightly warmer than room temperature.
12) Exercise, but in Moderation
There is no substitute for exercise, as being overweight can contribute to gout. Keeping your weight in check and getting enough exercise will help prevent the accumulation of uric acid in the joints. Bear in mind that too much exercise can lead to trouble by putting more stress on already inflamed joints. Hence, always exercise in moderation.
13) Elevate your foot, if affected
Raising your foot with pillows so its higher than your chest may help lessen swelling.
14) Tame your sheets
Even the weight of your bed sheets can be unbearable to an inflamed, gouty toe. Tuck the sheet in on the sides so its end falls at calf level, leaving your painful toe free of the covers.
15) Create gout-friendly socks
16) Chill out
Manage And Prevent Gout And Diabetes
Itâs important to keep your uric acid and blood sugar under control if you have gout and diabetes or want to keep from having them.
Your habits and lifestyle are some of the best ways to do that:
- Eat a healthy diet. Include foods that are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber, to lower your risk of diabetes. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are best. To protect against gout, you may want to avoid red meat, shellfish, sugary foods and drinks, and alcohol, especially beer. Low-fat dairy foods might protect you from gout, so keep them on the menu.
- Lose weight. Less body fat can lower your uric acid levels and improve your blood sugar. But donât fast or try a crash diet. Quick weight loss can raise uric acid.
- Exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Exercise can help you stay at a healthy weight, which makes gout and diabetes less likely.
- Manage other health issues. If you have other problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or kidney disease, make sure to take care of them. Follow your doctorâs instructions, and take all of your medicines.
Gout & Uric Acid Education Society: âGout and Diabetes: If you have gout, you may be at risk for diabetes.â
Arthritis Foundation: âWhat is Gout?â âFive Conditions Linked with Gout,â âHow Fat Affects Gout.â
CDC: âNew CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes.â
American Heart Association: âUnderstand Your Risk for Diabetes.â
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Gout Vs Pseudogout: How Can We Tell
Pseudogout is inflammatory arthritis caused by the. the build-up of calcium crystals in joints. As the name suggests, pseudogout looks like gout.
Generally, it can be challenging to differentiate between the two. However, there are clues as to whether symptoms are pseudogout or gout.
First, unlike gout, pseudogout tends to affect older people in their 60s and 70s. Second, pseudogout affects the knees, ankles, and wrists rather than the toes. Finally, attacks of pseudogout can last for many weeks and sometimes months rather than days in gout.
Treating The Pain At Home
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Natural Remedies For Painful Gout Flare
The rich mans disease can be one of the most painful chronic ailments out there. Gout is the unpleasant result of the build-up of uric acid in joints, particularly in the feet. It can be hard to do anything and bring sufferers lives to a standstill. Keeping gout outbreaks under control is no easy task, but there are a few natural options that might alleviate at least some of the pain.
One of the worst things about gout is that the worse the symptoms get, the harder it is to exercise. This is a problem because regular exercise is widely regarded as one of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of gout in the long term. Your doctor is the best person to advise you on what exercise is best for you, but generally speaking the best options are low-impact activities. Swimming, yoga and tai-chi are all popular options.
Celery is often hailed as gouts kryptonite. Along with being an anti-inflammatory, celery is a diuretic, meaning it will make you pee more. This is better than it sounds, as increasing the excretion of uric acid can help alleviate the symptoms of gout. Celery also has vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help prevent gout. Celery is easily consumed as a shake, or check out these great recipes if youre hurting for ideas.
5. Fish oil
6. Mustard plaster
7. Overhaul your diet
Do you have gout? What helps you ease the pain? Let us know in the comments below.
Can It Lead To Any Complications
If left unmanaged, gout-related inflammation can cause permanent damage to your ankle joint, especially if you have frequent flare-ups.
Over time, lumps of uric acid crystals, called tophi, can also form around your ankle. These lumps arent painful, but they can cause additional swelling and tenderness during a flare-up.
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Natural Remedies For Gout
Studies show that many of the dietary items we consume lead to gout as well as other health problems. Changing your diet and lifestyle may be the easy solution to beating gout. One of the first things to do is eliminate certain foods and beverages from your diet to beat gout.
Now here are my top six all-natural gout remedies to get rid of gout for good. If you follow these tips, you can get rid of gout in 24 hours or less. Yes, that fast, you can get rid of gout pain for good.
1. Celery Seed Extract
Step No. 1 is to consume celery seed extract and celery juice. Celery seed extract actually has been shown to decrease uric acid buildup in the body.
Researchers have identified over a dozen different types of antioxidants that are responsible for the benefits of celery these include such phenolic acids as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, plus flavaols like quecetin. This makes celery useful for treating a wide range of conditions that are made worse by inflammation: joint pain , gout, kidney and liver infections, skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and urinary tract infections, just to name a few.
You can buy the supplement or celery seed extract. You can also use a vegetable juicer to produce celery juice or just eat celery throughout the day all of which are great for getting rid of gout.
2. Black Cherry Juice
4. Fish Oil
5. Proteolytic Enzymes
How Do Doctors Diagnose Gout
- This is the most important diagnostic test. It is the ultimate method of being certain of a diagnosis of gouty arthritis, as opposed to other causes such as an infection in the joint.
- A needle is inserted into the joint to withdraw a sample of fluid for testing.
- The fluid is examined under a microscope to see if there are gout crystals or signs of a bacterial infection present. Sometimes other crystals can be found in the joint fluid, such as calcium pyrophosphate, which is caused by an entirely different condition called pseudogout .
- Gouty arthritis is sometimes diagnosed based on the typical clinical presentation without a joint aspiration.
- A doctor may obtain a blood sample to look at cell counts, uric acid levels, kidney function, etc.
- Unfortunately, the level of uric acid in the blood cannot be reliably used to make a diagnosis of gout. It is normal in approximately 10% of people during an acute attack of gouty arthritis. Moreover, uric acid levels are elevated in 5%-8% of the general population, so the presence of an elevated level does not necessarily mean that gout is the cause of an inflamed joint. Interestingly, the uric acid is typically lowered during a flare of inflammatory gouty arthritis. Therefore, the optimal time to measure the uric acid is after a flare has resolved when acute inflammation is not present.
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How To Prevent Gout
Some things that increase the risk of gout are out of your control your age, gender and family history for example.
However, your body weight and diet are also important factors.
The rise in gout in recent years is linked to our widening waistlines.
Being overweight, eating fatty foods and consuming too much alcohol are established triggers of flares of gout.