Who Is At Risk For Gout
Anyone can be affected by gout.
Gout is most common in middle-aged men, especially those with a family history of the disease. Women can get gout, too, most often after menopause.
Your chances of developing gout are higher if you:
- Are overweight
- Drink too much alcohol, especially beer
- Eat a diet rich in meat and fish, which can be high in chemicals called purines
- Take certain medicines, like water pills , that can trigger an attack
Recent research also indicates that genetics may play a big role in determining who gets gout. Ask your doctor if you have questions about your risk for developing this condition.
What Is Gout And What Causes It
Gout causes attacks of painful inflammation in one or more joints. It is a type of arthritis . The pain of a gout attack can be severe.
Gout is caused by a chemical in the blood, called uric acid . Uric acid is usually harmless and is made in the body. Most is passed out with the urine and some from the gut with the stools . In people with gout the amount of uric acid in the blood builds up. From time to time the level may become too high and tiny grit-like crystals of uric acid may form. The crystals typically collect in a joint. The crystals irritate the tissues in the joint to cause inflammation, swelling and pain – a gout attack.
Note: some people have a high level of uric acid but do not form crystals or have gout. Also, rarely, some people with a normal level of uric acid have gout attacks. However, as a rule, the higher the level of uric acid, the greater the chance of developing gout.
Five Ways To Ease A Gout Attack
If you have gout, you know what its like to suffer from a flare-up. Also known as gouty arthritis, a gout attack begins with a burning or itching feeling in your joints. The next sign is redness, swelling, or severe pain in the joint. This is caused by a buildup of uric acid around the joints, which forms uncomfortable uric crystals. This condition can be so painful that anything touching the jointeven a bedsheetcan cause severe pain.
If you are suffering from a gout attack or flare-up, you dont need to agonize alone or in silence. There are a few things you can do to ease the pain and prevent future flare-ups.
Several over-the-counter treatments can help relieve the pain caused by a gout attack. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lower uric acid levels and treat episodes of inflammation. Some good choices include Aleve, Motrin, and Advil, and, when taken in prescription doses, can be very effective.
Contact Carolina Arthritis for guidance and to learn more about this strategy for your gout attacks.
Change your diet.
Many dietary and lifestyle changes can assist in recovery. Foods high in purines can increase the uric acid in your blood and trigger a gout flare-up. Some of these foods include:
- Some seafood
- Organ meats like liver
- Fatty foods
Ice, elevate, and relax.
Make an appointment with Carolina Arthritis.
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Treating Gout At Home
This section on how to relieve gout pain is a very useful reference for those nights when you wake
up in agony. When you have a gout attack, you need to get the uric acid out of your system and treat
Relax and keep your body calm.
Take proper medication.
For some people an over the counter anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen may be helpful but read the package insert carefully or discuss with the pharmacist.
Ice the affected area and elevate the joint.
If the pain is severe and doesnt diminish, its recommended to seek medical advice.
Immediate Gout Pain Relief: What Are Your Options
Generally, you can take simple steps to get the pain and swelling under control. Examples include ice, compression of the joint, and rest from sport. Also, you need to keep well hydrated and avoid alcohol.
Medications from your doctor can help. Anti-inflammatory tablets such as ibuprofen can stop an acute attack if taken early. Similarly, a drug called colchicine can stop gout in its tracks if taken in the first 24 hours. Often, the dose of colchicine is one tablet three times a day decreasing to twice a day after a week as the pain settles.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
This wont likely provide immediate relief, but inadequate hydration is known to contribute towards the creation of urate crystals.
Drinking water may flush uric acid crystals out of your system.
Preliminary research suggests that adequate water consumption during the 24-hour period before a gout flare can decrease recurrent gout attacks.
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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How Does The Alkaline Diet Help Gout
So what does the alkaline diet have to do with gout? It raises the pH of urine, which increases the elimination of uric acid from your body 2.
So what does the alkaline diet have to do with gout?
- It raises the pH of urine, which increases the elimination of uric acid from your body 2.
- Less sodium and more potassium in the alkaline diet tends to prevent high amounts of uric acid 1.
- It contains substantially less purines, the compounds found in high amounts in animal products that form uric acid.
- It eliminates animal products, which decreases uric acid excretion in urine 3.
- It benefits kidney function the kidneys are responsible for processing uric acid 4.
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The Role Of Medication In Prevention Of Gout
Table 3: Medications to pevent attacks of gout
Standard medications in preventing gout attacks
i. Colchicine : using the matches analogy discussed above1, using colchicine can be seen as dampening the uric acid matches. Colchicine does not lower the bodys store of uric acid, but it decreases the intensity of the bodys inflammatory reaction to these crystals. Recent studies have shown that at least one mechanism of colchicines action is by acting to prevent a cascade of reactions that lead to the production of interleukin 1-beta, which is an inflammatory protein , which is important in gouty inflammation.8
ii. Allopurinol: This agent is presently the most commonly used drug for the prevention of gout. Allopurinol blocks the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which blocks the breakdown of purines, thus decreasing the bodys total amount of uric acid. Allopurinol is effective in preventing gout no matter what the mechanism of the elevated uric acid was. Whether a person is making too much uric acid, or has difficulty excreting it via the kidney, allopurinols decrease in uric acid production leads to the same goal: a decreased total body uric acid.
Table 4: Reasons to use medication to lower uric acid
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When Is Surgery Considered For Gout
The question of surgery for gout most commonly comes up when a patient has a large clump of urate crystals , which is causing problems. This may be if the tophus is on the bottom of the foot, and the person has difficulty walking on it, or on the side of the foot making it hard to wear shoes. An especially difficult problem is when the urate crystals inside the tophus break out to the skin surface. This then can allow bacteria a point of entry, which can lead to infection, which could even track back to the bone. Whenever possible, however, we try to avoid surgery to remove tophi. The problem is that the crystals are often extensive, and track back to the bone, so there is not a good healing surface once the tophus is removed. In some rare cases, such as when a tophus is infected or when its location is causing major disability, surgical removal may be considered.
Since it is hard to heal the skin after a tophus is removed, a skin graft may be needed. For this reason, we often try hard to manage the tophus medically. If we give high doses of medication to lower the urate level, such as allopurinol, over time the tophus will gradually reabsorb. In severe cases, we may consider using the intravenous medication pegloticase , since it lowers the urate level the most dramatically, and can lead to the fastest shrinkage of the tophus.
Do Home Based Gout Remedies Actually Work
What do you think of when you hear someone talking about a home remedy theyve used to treat an illness?
Does it perk up your ears, or just make you suspicious and skeptical?
Remedies have been used by people for thousands of years with varying degrees of success. Some are based on folklore, while others continue the trend of following what works through trial and experimentation passed down the generational line.
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If You Are Having Repeated Attacks See Your Doctor
Some patients can go a long time between attacks. In fact, for 62 percent of patients the next attack will be more than a year away, and some won’t have another attack in the next 10 years. However, if you begin to have more frequent attacks, talk to your doctor about escalating treatment. People think its normal to have flares every now and then, but its not. The gout can be doing damage to your joints. It means you still have too much uric acid, says Shakouri. In particular, ask about allpurinol. It wont help with an acute attack but will help prevent future attacks by reducing uric acid production.
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
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What Is The Outcome
A sudden-onset attack of gout usually resolves within 3-10 days. About 2 in every 3 people who have one acute attack will have another acute attack within the following year. Repeated acute attacks and long-lasting gout lead to progressive damage of the joint and therefore to persistent pain and disability.
Causes & Risk Factors
While natural gout remedies do help to relieve the pain and discomfort, for true healing its important to address the underlying causes of gout and address any risk factors you may have to prevent future gout attacks.
Gout Risk factors
Consuming moderate to high levels of purine-rich foods including beef, seafood, alcohol, legumes, certain vegetables and fructose is a leading cause of gout.
When obese, more uric acid is produced and the kidneys may have a difficult time eliminating the excess.
3. High Blood Pressure:
Natural high blood pressure remedies can help bring your numbers into the normal range. Partner these treatments with regular exercise and stress-relieving activities for the best results.
Stay hydrated by drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water each day. During the summer months or when exercising, be sure to drink more.
5. High Levels of Triglycerides:
Work to reduce your triglycerides by losing weight, avoiding sugary foods, reducing alcohol, and replacing unhealthy fats with healthy ones.
Follow a diabetic diet plan and exercise regularly to lower your A1C numbers naturally.
7. Metabolic Syndrome:
Incorporate burst training and essential oils into your daily routine while following a diet for metabolic syndrome to reduce your chances of gout.
8. Heart Disease:
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Risk Factors For Gout And Diabetes
Many of the same things can make your chances of having gout or diabetes go up. You may be more likely to get them if you:
- Are overweight or obese. If you carry extra fat on your body, youâre more likely to have both gout and type 2 diabetes.
- Drink too much alcohol. Moderate amounts of alcohol — one drink a day for women and men over 65 and two for men 65 and younger — may actually lower your chances of getting diabetes. But too much can affect how your pancreas releases insulin, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. More than two drinks a day can also up your odds of gout.
- Have a family history of them. If one of your family members has had gout or diabetes, youâre more likely to get these diseases, too.
- Have other health problems. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are linked to both conditions.
How To Get Rid Of Gout Fast
Gout is a painful type of arthritis that feels similar to the pain experienced with rheumatoid arthritis, as both diseases cause inflammation in the joints.
Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood.
When the body cannot get rid of the excess uric acid, that buildup ends up accumulating as crystals in a joint, such as the big toe.
This creates swelling, redness, warmth, and severe joint pain in the affected area.
This condition has historically been seen as a disease that only affects old, wealthy men.
Since gout can be caused by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, anyone can get gouteven if they eat what would typically be deemed a healthy diet.
Attacks and flare-ups of the condition can be painful.
While there is no cure for gout, there are things you can do to get relief from the pain and inflammation.
In this article, Ill talk about ways to get fast relief from a gout attack, treatment options for these flare-ups, and warning signs that an attack may be coming.
Ill also tell you when its best to talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider about gout symptoms.
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What Does It Mean When The Tops Of Your Feet Hurt
The extensor tendons, located in the top of the foot, are needed for flexing or pulling the foot upward. If they become inflamed due to overuse or wearing shoes without proper support, they may get torn or inflamed. This is known as extensor tendinitis, which can cause significant pain in the top of the foot.
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Warning Signs Of A Gout Flare
Some people with gout, also known as gouty arthritis, say an attack begins with a burning, itching, or tingling feeling in a joint maybe an hour or two before the flare-up starts. The joint may feel a little stiff or a bit sore. Not long after, the telltale signs of gout begin. If you get repeated attacks, you’ll learn your body’s signals that one is about to begin.
Sometimes, people with gout have no early signs that a flare is about to start. They may just wake up in the middle of the night with a very painful joint.
When the flare starts, most people have redness, swelling, and severe pain, usually in one joint. The most common place for gout is the base of the big toe, but it can happen in other joints such as the elbow, knee, wrist, ankle, and instep.
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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.
What About Prp Injections For Gout
PRP injections for gout are only reserved for special cases. Just like cortisone injections, PRP injections are anti-inflammatory and will have a beneficial effect. This effect is probably better if the injected joint has underlying degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis. Nevertheless, the effect of PRP is less than cortisone. Overall, we would only consider PRP injection for gout if the risks of a cortisone injection are too great.
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Getting The Most From Your Treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on colchicine. This is because grapefruit juice increases the risk that you will experience side-effects from the colchicine.
- Colchicine tablets are taken in short courses of treatment to relieve the pain of a gout attack. If you have frequent attacks of gout, let your doctor know as they may prescribe another medicine for you to take every day to help prevent the attacks from occurring.
- There are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce the risk of having a gout attack. These include losing weight , eating a healthy diet and not drinking much alcohol or sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Your doctor will advise you about the changes which could benefit you.
- Never take more than the prescribed dose. Taking too much colchicine can cause serious problems. If you suspect that someone has taken an overdose of colchicine or has swallowed some by accident, you must contact a doctor straightaway. Alternatively, go to the accident and emergency department of a local hospital. Do not delay. Take the container with you, even if it is empty. This is so the doctor knows what has been taken.