Who Is Affected By Gout
Gout can affect anyone. It usually occurs earlier in men than women. It generally occurs after menopause in women. Men can be three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives. Women reach these uric acid levels after menopause.
People are more likely to get gout if they have:
- Obesity, or a lot of extra weight.
You are also more likely to develop gout if you:
- Consume a diet high in animal proteins
- Consume a significant amount of alcohol
- Are on water pills .
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.
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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What Does The Future Hold For Gout
Active research is ongoing in a variety of fields related to gout and hyperuricemia. Scientists have found that high animal protein slightly increased the risk for gout. New drugs are being developed that may be more versatile and safe in treating the elevated uric acid levels in patients with chronic gout.
Whats The Best Way To Take Lab
Your body doesnt typically excrete enough uric acid on its own to minimize the risk of a gout attack. Lab-grade Chanca Piedra is that extra added push for your body to be able to not only flush out uric acid in the kidney and liver, but to also inhibit the formation of uric acid crystals. Chanca Piedra has also been shown to help with inflammation.
To dissolve uric acid crystals or to prevent them from forming altogether:
Keep in mind that each individual is unique and will respond differently to each treatment type. Always discuss any new treatments that you are considering with your physician prior to starting them so he/she can review with you any potential medication interactions and potential side effect concerns.
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When To See A Doctor
Gout occurs without warning. Anyone experiencing intense pain on the big toe, followed by warmth, tenderness, redness or discoloration, should immediately seek medical attention.
If a person does not receive treatment for gout, it can lead to joint damage over time, including bone erosions and arthritis.
Who Is At Risk Of Gout
Gout is sometimes called the disease of kings because of a false link to overindulgence in food and alcohol. Anyone can get the condition, but certain factors can increase your risk:
- Gender: Males are more likely to get gout than females.
- Age: Middle-aged and older men and women after menopause are more at risk for gout.
- Family history
- Diet: A diet high in purines, which are broken down into uric acid, can lead to gout. High purine foods include meats like bacon, turkey, veal, venison, and liver, and seafood like anchovies, sardines, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout, and haddock. High fructose foods and drinks such as soda pop also can increase your risk.
- Alcohol use
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Treatment For Gout In The Foot Prevention
This is one point that I think most bland advice sites written by authors who pay a clinician to approve it get horribly wrong. Exercise is always listed as a cure-all without any recognition that certain exercises are better than others for different areas.
In the case of gout, you need to avoid trauma. Now trauma doesnt mean injury just constant impact causes tiny trauma that can attract gout. If you often suffer gout in your feet, then the last thing you want to do is go out running during your recovery.
Running is great for certain diseases/ activites, but not gout. Cycling is better if you enjoy cardio-based workouts, but swimming is best of all.
The lack of pressure/ weight on your feet, makes swimming a perfect treatment for gout in the foot.
Rowing also is not advisable due to the pressure on your feet. Likewise, push-ups cause real pressure on your toes unless you touch the floor with your knees rather than your toes .
Sit-ups however, are really good again, especially with your feet in the air. Just dont use a sit up bar or have someone holding your feet down. A standard abdominal crunch with your feet in the air however is a great exercise for feet that might suffer with gout.
Weight training is a bit of a mixed bag dead lifting may cause gout in your feet because your feet are taking the pressure, while a lot of new shoulder/ arm lifting machines involve sitting and so taking the pressure off your feet are fine.
The Four Stages Of Gout
Gout is best understood by seeing it as having four phases or stages :
Stage 1: High uric acid
Elevated uric acid without gout or kidney stone, this stage has no symptoms and is generally not treated.
Stage 2: Acute flares
This stage is marked by acute gout attacks causing pain and inflammation in one or more joints.
Stage 3: Intercritical periods
These are periods of time between acute attacks, during which a person feels normal but is at risk for recurrence of acute attacks.
Stage 4: Advanced gout
This is a stage of chronic gouty arthritis, in which there are lumps of uric acid, or tophi , frequent attacks of acute gout, and often a degree of pain even between attacks .
Figure 1: Stages of Gout
Figure 2: Illustration of Toe Joint with Gouty Tophus. normal toe joint Urate crystals, shown in white, at the “bunion joint,” represent a gouty tophus.)
Figure 3: Progression of Gout
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Immediate Relief Expert Care
Gout pain in your toes and feet can be extremely uncomfortable. While these home remedies may offer temporary relief, you might need professional care.
If you begin fevering, this is often a sign of infection. Dont wait to come in.
Weve got a full team ready to help, right away. Visit our contact page to make a quick appointment or give us a call today at 239.936.5400.
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.
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The Role Of Uric Acid
Uric acid is produced when your body breaks down purines, which are substances naturally found in your body, as well as in protein-rich foods. At normal levels in your blood, uric acid is a powerful antioxidant and does not cause any damage. The body keeps uric acid at a set level by excreting it through the kidneys and in urine.
It is possible to have hyperuricemia and not develop gout. About two-thirds of people with elevated uric acid levels never have gout attacks. It is not known why some people do not react to abnormally high levels of uric acid.
Gout Doesnt Have To Be A Pain
Gout attacks can be recurring. Over time, the condition can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues if not treated correctly. The best course of action with the fewest side effects is to follow a gout-friendly diet and limit your intake of red meats, seafood, and alcohol. If you suffer from gout and want to try a holistic approach to treating the disease, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure this is the right course of action for you.
Ellis, R., Fighting the agony of gout with a daily glass of cherry juice, Daily Mail, September 28, 2014 .Treatments and Remedies for Gout, Mercola , last accessed May 5, 2017.Gout: Facts and Information, Mercola , last accessed May 5, 2017.
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What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Gout
Consider asking your healthcare provider:
- What is causing the gout?
- Do I have any joint damage?
- What can I do to prevent future attacks?
- Can any gout medications help me?
- How long will I need to take gout medications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Gout is a painful form of arthritis. Extra uric acid in your body creates sharp crystals in the joints, leading to swelling and extreme tenderness. Gout usually starts in the big toe but can affect other joints. Gout is a treatable condition, and the uric acid level can be decreased by medication and lifestyle changes. Talk to your healthcare provider about medications that can reduce uric acid levels. They can also discuss changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to prevent and reduce gout attacks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/15/2020.
How Is Gout Treated
When you have a gout attack, pain relief is your first goal. Its important to call your doctor even if the pain has stopped. The uric acid buildup that triggered your gout attack may still be irritating your joints and could eventually cause seriousdamage, like joint destruction and kidney damage.
Your doctor may:
- Give you a shot of corticosteroids to ease discomfort quickly
- Prescribe a long-term medication that can prevent and even reverse uric acid buildup
- Recommend lifestyle changes or alternative treatments
Theres a lot you can do on your own to ease symptoms:
- Rest the affected joint until the attack passes and for 24 hours after the attack.
- Elevate painful joints.
- Use ice to reduce swelling.
- Relieve inflammation with NSAIDS . Avoid aspirin, which can worsen symptoms.
- Limit alcohol, especially beer and hard liquor.
- Cut back on meat and seafood, which can raise uric acid levels.
- Follow a moderate exercise program.
- Control your weight. Being overweight increases your risk for gout.
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Lifestyle Changes Can Make Gout Attacks Less Likely
When you consider how much pain gout causes, it makes sense to try and prevent the problem flaring up. A key approach is to consume fewer foods and drinks containing high levels of purines, substances that lead to a uric acid build-up. A low-purine diet means avoiding beer, rich meats such as bacon, pork and liver, as well as many types of fish, seafood and shellfish.
The link between gout and over-indulgence is why the condition was known historically as the rich mans disease. Being a healthy weight, drinking plenty of water to flush out uric acid and exercising regularly can all help you to avoid gout attacks.
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.
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Take Caution With Supplements For Gout
As for the many supplements and other purported home remedies available for gout, including turmeric and bromelain, there is no significant evidence backing them up as of now, and theres no adequate evidence showing that supplements have any effect even comparable to that of medicines.
From my point of view, says Dr. Fields, the home remedy concept to gout is often harmful because it keeps patients from taking medications that we know are effective.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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How Are Gout Attacks Prevented
Maintaining adequate fluid intake helps prevent acute gout attacks and decreases the risk of kidney stone formation in people with gout. Alcohol is known to have diuretic effects that can contribute to dehydration and precipitate acute gout attacks. Alcohol can also affect uric acid metabolism and cause hyperuricemia. It causes gout by slowing down the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys as well as by causing dehydration, which precipitates the crystals in the joints.
Treatment Of Foot Gout
If you suffer from foot gout, there are many different types of gout treatment approaches you can take to help lessen the flare.
Flares from foot gout can be treated using your regular gout medications. This includes NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and colchicine. These are short-term gout medications and should only be taken during a gout flare.
Then, certain medications need to be taken regularly to maintain low uric acid levels. This is called preventative medication and can include drugs such as allopurinol, febuxostat, probenecid, pegloticase, and lesinurad.
Light Exercise or Rest
This may sound counterintuitive but taking a walk during an attack might help you recover faster. For people who have had gout long enough, theyve lived through the pain and have gotten used to it.
However, if this doesnt work for you dont force it. Sit back, relax, and let your foot rest. Put it in an elevated position and place an ice pack on the affected area.
Buy a Comfortable Pair of Shoes
Find comfortable shoes that you can regularly wear preferably those that have cushioned insoles and a wide toe box. This helps support the feet and prevent contact with the toe which can feel sensitive to touch during the first few days after an attack.
In certain situations, you may need to undergo an operation to remove the liquid inside. This is especially needed if the gout has already progressed into tophi.
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How Can An Attack Of Gout Be Treated
The management of an acute attack of gout is very different from the prevention of subsequent attacks.
Treatments used for prevention, such as allopurinol can actually make things worse if given during an attack, and so need to be held back until the attack has resolved for several weeks.
There are a number of measures that can help resolve an attack of gout. See Table 2 for summary of treatment strategies for acute gout. One principle is that treatment for an attack of gout should be instituted quickly, since quick treatment can often be rewarded with a quick improvement.
If an attack of gout is allowed to last more than a day or so before treatment is started, the response to treatment may be much slower.
Table 2: Medications to treat acute attacks of gout
Differences Between Ra And Gout
Both diseases cause redness, swelling, and pain in the joints. Both can cause serious disability and disrupt your quality of life.
However, a close look at initial signs and which joints are involved will clearly differentiate these two diseases. The best way to know whether you have RA or gout is to make an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis.
Specific signs that distinguish the diseases:
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