The Best way Of Getting that Gout Out of Your System
Gout is the condition wherein uric acid, a chemical that is produced by your body, crystallizes on your joints. These crystals may also appear in your ligaments and tendons and beneath your skin. So, what is Gout? – It is essentially a kind arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints. It most cases, it affects the big toe, however, it can also affect any of the other joints, including the ones in your hands, fingers & wrists, elbows, knees, feet & ankles.
In the Indian context, the urban population is more affected by gout than people who live in rural areas and it occurs more commonly in men & older people. If you have suffered from gout in just one odd instance in your life, no treatment is required. On the other hand, if you have got gout more than once and it has lasted for several weeks, it is important that you get medical attention.
Symptoms of Gout
You may get gout just once in your life and it can go away without any treatment. However, most people get it more than once and a gout attack usually lasts 5-15 days. The very first gout symptoms are the ones that will show up in the affected joint and may include:
- Sudden and severe pain
- Swelling & tenderness around the affected area
- Red & shiny skin around that area- this skin might peel later on
Keep in mind, that these symptoms might also be a result of some other health problems apart from gout. If you suffer from any of them, it is important that you consult your doctor without delay. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, in the later stages, another symptom of gout is Tophi. These are firm and white, uric acid crystals that develop under the surface of your skin, which get inflamed and can cause a considerable amount of discomfort.
Causes of Gout
You may develop gout if there is excessive uric acid in your body. Uric acid is a chemical that is found in blood and is a waste product that is formed from natural substances called purines. Uric acid gets formed when your body breaks-down purines that are present in foods. It also gets formed when the old cells are broken-down by your body and new ones replace them. Under normal circumstance, any excess uric acid in your body will always pass through your kidney & be expelled from your body via your urine. But, uric acid levels in your blood can increase and you may get gout if you:
- Your body produces excessive amounts of uric acid and is not able to expel it at the same rate
- You eat too many foods that are rich in purine
- Drink too much of beer or other alcoholic drinks
- Don’t drink enough water
- Are taking diuretics
- Have severe psoriasis
- Have a family history of this condition
- Have diabetes
- Are obese
- Suffer from high blood pressure
Treatment of Gout
If you suffer from a severe case of gout, your doctor might:
- Prescribe NSAIDs which will reduce the swelling & pain
- Colcechine might be used to alleviate joint pain
- Corticosteroids may be given orally or directly injected into the joint, to control the inflammation
- Medication that brings down uric acid levels may be prescribed
The Right Perspective
But gout treatment is also a lot about cutting down on the triggers and setting some of the other conditions right. Following a gout diet will help in improving the condition. The measures that you can take are:
- Foods such as oatmeal, anchovies, sardines and other seafood are very high in purines and these should be eliminated from your diet
- Limit consumption of poultry and meat
- Limit/avoid alcohol
- Limit/avoid foods that have a high fructose content
- Opt for complex carbohydrate foods like fresh vegetables, fruits & whole grains
- Drink lots of fluids
- Aim to lose excess weight
Diagnosing and treating gout early can go a long way in controlling it, preventing joint damage and living a normal life.
Did you come across any Gout like symptoms for you or someone known to you? Do you know what remedies effectively worked in such cases?