Tuesday, May 17, 2022

What Is Gout And How Is It Treated

Take Caution With Supplements For Gout

What Is Gout and How Do You Treat It? [Dr. Claudia]

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.

Gout Attack Vs Chronic Gout

It is possible to have a gout flare-up and never experience another. Repeated instances of acute gout are called chronic gout17.

The treatment goals for a gout attack are different than those for chronic gout. When treating a gout attack, the goal is to relieve pain and inflammation. When treating chronic gout, the goal is to prevent future gout attacks and long-term joint damage.

While some people with chronic gout may get frequent gout attacks, others may have years in between attacks. If chronic gout is not treated, attacks may become more frequent and/or last longer.

Left untreated, a gout attack will usually resolve itself within a few days or weeks. Chronic gout can permanently damage a joints tissues and decrease its range of motion. For this reason, it is important to recognize symptoms, understand risk factors, get an accurate diagnosis, and treat and prevent gout.

Cherries Or Tart Cherry Juice

According to a , cherries whether sour, sweet, red, black, in extract form, as a juice, or raw are a very popular and potentially successful home remedy for many.

One 2012 study and another that same year also suggest cherries may work to prevent gout attacks.

This research recommends three servings of any cherry form over a two-day period, which was considered the most effective.

Recommended Reading: Are Onions High In Purines

Hot And Cold Application

One of the simple home remedies for gout is the oldest and something you probably have been using for years. You will want to try applying hot or cold towels to the affected joint. Keep the towel or ice for 10-15 minutes and you should notice improvement. Ice works better for most patients while a hot towel works for some. Elevate your joint to force blood return to the heart which decreases inflammation even faster.

Suggested article: Gout Ice Packs Can Ice Alleviate Gout Pain?

Who Is Affected By Gout

Gout Treatment Tips and Advice

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:

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 .

Read Also: Is Onion Good For Gout

Is It Possible To Prevent Arthritis

Yes. Arthritis can be prevented by following the preventive and safety measures along with the nutritious food. As we all know, there is no proper and permanent cure for arthritis. Therefore it is better to prevent arthritis before developing it. The preventive steps include:

  • Minimize the stress on the joints.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Avoid accidents and other injuries to joints
  • Regular physical activities to increase bone density
  • Intake of more vitamin D to maintain the bone health
  • How Is Gout Diagnosed

    In a clear-cut case, a primary care physician can make the diagnosis of gout with a high level of confidence. However, often there are two or more possible causes for an inflamed toe or other joint, which mimics some of the symptoms of gout, so tests to identify the presence of uric acid is performed.

    Since the treatment for gout is lifelong, its very important to make a definitive diagnosis. Ideally, the diagnosis is made by identifying uric acid crystals in joint fluid or in a mass of uric acid . These can be seen by putting a drop of fluid on a slide and examining it using a polarizing microscope, which takes advantage of the way uric acid crystals bend light. A non-rheumatologist, when possible, can remove fluid from the joint by aspirating it with a small needle and send it to a lab for analysis. A rheumatologist is likely to have a polarizing attachment on their microscope at their office. Gout crystals have a needle-like shape, and are either yellow or blue, depending on how they are arranged on the slide .

    Figure 11: Uric Acid Crystals Under Polarizing Light Microscopy

    There are many circumstances where, however ideal it would be, no fluid or other specimen is available to examine, but a diagnosis of gout needs to be made. A set of criteria has been established to help make the diagnosis of gout in this setting .2

    Table 1: Diagnosing gout when no crystal identification is possible

    Ideally, 6 of 10 features will be present of the following:

    Recommended Reading: Cherry Juice For Gout Mayo Clinic

    What Are The Symptoms Of Gout

    The most common symptom of gout is pain in the affected joint, such as the big toe. Gout flares often start suddenly at night, and the intense pain may wake you up. In addition, your joint may feel swollen, red, warm, and stiff.

    Gout flares usually occur in one joint. They can be triggered by:

    • Certain foods.
    • Physical trauma.
    • Certain illnesses.

    Flares typically get better over a week or two. In between flares, you usually dont have symptoms. Some people may have frequent flares, while others may not have another flare for years. However, over time, if left untreated, your flares may last longer and happen more often.

    Some people with gout may be more likely to develop other conditions or complications, especially with the heart and kidneys.

    Additional Tips For Treating Gout Naturally

    Got a flare of Gout How to treat it

    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.

    1. Eliminate or reduce sugar intake

    As many studies are now illustrating, gout is common in people with excessive sugar intake, especially high fructose corn syrup Its wise to read the labels of all your food and drinks. If you find HFCS then eliminate that from your diet. In addition, look for sugar added under the guise of other common names for sugar look for cose at the end of words and these are probably types of sugar you dont want to be consuming.

    2. Eliminate grains

    Grains in the body are converted to sugars so again you want to limit or avoid grains altogether. They are also very inflammatory to your body.

    3. Limit alcohol consumption

    Again, alcohol becomes sugar once ingested so eliminate this completely unless you have a healthy body already. Any substance that will be converted to one or another type of sugar by the body should be avoided at all costs. In order to get your uric acid levels down you must consistently avoid sugar in your diet.

    4. Eliminate soda and diet soda

    5. Consume cherries and strawberries daily

    6. Exercise

    If you want to learn more natural remedies and natural cures, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

    Also Check: Is Onions Good For Gout

    Do Gout Medications Have Any Side Effects

    • Gout medications are well tolerated by most people. However, like other medications, they have potential side effects.
    • Allopurinol is well tolerated by most people, but in some people, it can cause an allergicrash. Very severe rashes rarely can occur after taking allopurinol, and any allergic type rashes that develop while a patient is taking allopurinol are taken seriously.
    • Colchicine can cause signs and symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and rarely muscle weakness and abnormal blood counts.
    • Probenecid is generally well tolerated but should not be used in patients who have uric acid kidney stones, as it can worsen the kidney stones and potentially harm the kidneys in these patients.

    Foods That Are Rich In Magnesium

    Foods that contain plenty of magnesium are an important part of a diet for all gout patients. Some examples of such foods are seeds, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and greens. An adult man needs 400 mg of magnesium per day. You can get the same result by consuming magnesium supplements if you like an easy way.

    Magnesium decreases uric acid. When the magnesium level is low, inflammation in the body will get worse. Sadly, there are no detailed studies that will confirm the theory, but there are a lot of people who use this remedy and claim it works well and the long term.

    Suggested articles:Nuts And Gout Are Nuts Bad for Gout?

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    Foods To Limit Or Avoid

    Cutting out or limiting foods that contain purines may help further reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream and the risk of developing gout or experiencing gout flare-ups in the future.

    Some foods rich in purines are the following:

    • alcohol, especially beer and spirits
    • certain meats, such as turkey, bacon, veal, liver, venison, and organ meats
    • some types of fish and seafood, such as haddock, trout, scallops, cod, mussels, anchovies, sardines, and herring

    Foods moderately high in purines include:

    • beef
    • avoiding extreme diets, especially diets low in carbohydrates and high in proteins
    • eating a healthy diet that reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, such as one that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plant proteins

    People with joint damage or tophi from gout may require surgery.

    Medications For Acute Gout

    The 4 Stages of Gout and Preventing Disease Progression
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and COX-2 inhibitors are the mainstay of therapy of acute attacks of gout in patients who have no contra-indication to them. These medications include such agents as naproxen , ibuprofen , celecoxib , indomethacin and many others. These agents reliably decrease the inflammation and pain of gout. However, patients with ulcers, hypertension, coronary disease, and fluid retention must be careful with these agents, even for the short courses needed to resolve a gout attack. The doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents needed to resolve a gout attack are on the higher side, since full anti-inflammatory effect is needed. See examples of dosage in Table 2. Over-the-counter dosage levels, for example, ibuprofen at 200mg, two tabs three times a day, are often insufficient.
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone and methylprednisolone , are anti-inflammatory agents that are quite effective against gout attacks. Anti-inflammatory steroids are very different in action and side-effects as compared to male hormone steroids. Anti-inflammatory steroids have long-term risks, such as bone thinning and infection, but their risk for short-term therapy is relatively low. These agents can raise blood pressure and blood sugar, so can be a problem for those with uncontrolled hypertension or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
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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.

    Try To Decrease Stress

    A life without stress is impossible these days. There is no single method to avoid it unless you live in the wild. A natural treatment for gout can be to use methods that decrease stress. The best examples are exercising, yoga, meditation, reading, and anything that makes you happy.

    But why stress affects gout? Stress decreases the production of pantothenic acid. When this acid is low, the uric acid level will be high and we all know what that means! Try to find a way to decrease stress at all cost.

    Suggested article: Gout And Stress Can Gout Be Caused By Stress?

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    Using Epsom Salt While Taking A Bath

    Epsom salt has been used as an alternative medicine for decades. It is mandatory to remember that you must not drink or consume epsom salt in any form. The only way to use it is to add 1-2 cups to warm water while taking a bath. Apparently, it will be absorbed by the skin and directly affect the inflammation thanks to high levels of magnesium. If you consume plenty of foods rich in magnesium, there is no need to use both of these remedies. But, if you want soft skin, you may want to try epsom salt.

    The Four Stages Of Gout

    Gout causes, Symptoms and Treatment, How to prevent 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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    Take Your Gout Medication As Prescribed

    Recent research has shown that more than a third of gout patients stop taking their uric acid-lowering medication or use it inconsistently. This can leave you vulnerable to gout flares as well as cardiovascular disease. Thats because high uric acid levels may contribute to a variety of heart-related problems, including atherosclerosis .

    For people with gout, there is some evidence that controlling their uric acid level most commonly with allopurinol can reduce cardiac risk, says rheumatologist Theodore R. Fields, MD, Professor of Clinical medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College and Attending Physician at Hospital for Special Surgery. Also, another medication commonly used in gout, colchicine, has been shown to have some ability to decrease heart attack risk.

    How Can I Treat My Foot Gout

    Gout is easily treated. The main goal of treatment is to lower the uric acid levels in your body, decrease pain and other symptoms, and prevent further attacks or flare-ups.

    If you only experience one episode of foot gout, your doctor may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug other than aspirin, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

    Aspirin is not used to treat gout because if can interfere with the excretion of uric acid crystals in your urine. Doctors have several ways to treat your gout, including:

    • Anti-inflammatory medications or injections to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
    • Corticosteroid injection into affected joint to reduce inflammation
    • Suggesting a change in diet to eliminate or reduce intake of foods and beverages that are high in purines and protein because protein can increase your uric acid level
    • Encouraging the patient to drink plenty of fluids each day, especially water
    • Explaining the importance of avoiding alcoholic beverages
    • Requiring you to stay off your feet
    • Cold compresses

    It is very important that you talk to a doctor if you are experiencing foot gout symptoms or a flare-up.

    Symptoms will generally subside within three to ten days with treatment. If the problem is left untreated, or if gout continues to occur with treatment, the uric acid buildup can eventually cause arthritic damage to your joint.

    In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgically removing the uric acid crystals from your joint.

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    Who Should Diagnose And Treat Gout

    The disease should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of gout patients. This is important because the signs and symptoms of gout are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory diseases. Doctors who specialize in gout and other forms of arthritis are called rheumatologists. To find a provider near you, visit the database of rheumatologistsexternal icon on the American College of Rheumatology website. Once a rheumatologist has diagnosed and effectively treated your gout, a primary care provider can usually track your condition and help you manage your gout.

    What Can Trigger A Gout Attack

    Gout: Symptoms, Pictures, Treatment, and More

    Several things can cause the crystals to shake loose into your joint cavity, triggering an attack. These include:

    • a knock or injury to the joint
    • an illness that may make you feverish
    • having an operation
    • having an unusually large meal, especially a fatty meal
    • drinking too much alcohol
    • dehydration
    • starting urate lowering therapy, especially at a high dose, or not taking your treatment regularly each day.

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      Keep Close Tabs On Your Heart Health

      Your rheumatologist should be regularly checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Depending on your personal overall cardiovascular disease risk, you might also be a candidate for additional tests like an EKG , stress test, or a cardiac CT.

      Ask your doctor if you might benefit from taking a statin . Research has found that gout patients who are treated with statins are less likely to die prematurely.

      The main issue is the fact that many patients with gout have obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal cholesterol, says Joshua F. Baker, MD,Associate Professor of Rheumatology and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center. It is important that these are identified and treated to prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease. Patients with gout area also at higher risk of developing these conditions over time, so they should be continually monitored for their development.

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