Gout is a kind of Arthritis caused by a buildup of Uric acid crystals in the joints. Uric acid is a bi-product created as our bodies break down the many foods we eat. An abnormality in The handling of this Uric acid in our body and the crystallization of these compounds in the joints can cause painful attacks of Arthritis, even kidney stones, and possible blockage of the kidney filtering process with Uric acid crystals, which may lead to kidney failure. Gout is one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout time.
What are the main symptoms of Gout?
The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly, and very often at night. They include the following:
- Intense joint pain. Gout typically affects the large joint of your big toe, but it can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. The pain is usually going to be the most severe within the first 3 to 12 hours after it begins.
- Lingering discomfort. After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a day to a few weeks. Down the road attacks may last longer and affect more joints.
- Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or multiple joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red.
- Limited range of motion. As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally.
The buildup of Uric acid in your blood from the breakdown of purines causes Gout.
Certain conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders or dehydration, make your body produce too much Uric acid.
A kidney or thyroid problem, or an inherited disorder, can make it harder for your body to remove excess Uric acid.
You’re more likely to get gout if you:
- are a middle-aged man or a postmenopausal woman
- have parents, siblings, or other family members with gout
- eat too much purine-rich food, such as red meats, organ meats, and certain fish
- drink alcohol
- take medications such as Diuretics and Cyclosporine
- have a condition such as high blood pressure, Kidney disease, Thyroid disease, Diabetes, or Sleep apnea
More risk factor information.
- Diet. Eating a diet rich in meat and seafood and drinking beverages sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose) increase levels of Uric acid, which increase your risk of gout. Alcohol consumption, especially of beer, also increases the risk of Gout.
- Obesity. If you’re overweight, your body produces more Uric acid and your kidneys have a more difficult time eliminating uric acid.
- Medical conditions. Certain diseases and conditions increase your risk of Gout.
- Certain medications. The use of Thiazide diuretics — commonly used to treat hypertension — and low-dose aspirin also can increase Uric acid levels. So can the use of anti-rejection drugs prescribed for people who have undergone an organ transplant.
- Family history of gout. If other members of your family have had gout, you’re more likely to develop the disease.
- Age and sex. Gout occurs more often in men, primarily because women tend to have lower Uric acid levels. After menopause, however, women’s Uric acid levels approach those of men and they become more susceptible to Gout. Men are also more likely to develop Gout earlier — usually between the ages of 30 and 50 — whereas women generally develop signs and symptoms after menopause.
- Recent surgery or trauma. Experiencing recent surgery or trauma has been associated with an increased risk of developing a Gout attack as well.
Treatments for Gout are designed to reduce either the pain and inflammation of individual attacks or the frequency of attacks. Traditional treatments include making dietary changes and taking certain medications.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol, especially beer.
- Drink lots of water or other nonalcoholic beverages.
- Eat more low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
- Avoid high Purine foods, including organ meats (kidneys, liver, and sweetbreads) and oily fish (sardines, anchovies, and herring).
- Limit meat in favor of plant-based proteins like beans and legumes.
- Eat complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads, fruits, and vegetables, rather than sugary sweets and refined carbohydrates like white bread.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors like Allopurinol reduce the amount of Uric acid produced by the body.
- Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Indomethacin (Indocin)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
Alternative treatments for Gout target reducing pain during attacks or lowering Uric acid levels to potentially prevent attacks. As you see with many alternative treatments for any disease or condition, there are many opinions and they are often mixed as to how well each alternative treatment method works. Research is often minimal or non-existent in comparison to traditional medical treatments for Gout.
However, with that being said, many people have had success in using alternative treatments in the management of many diseases and conditions, including Gout. Before you try any alternative treatment, you should always check with your doctor to be sure that the methods are safe and right for you and your situation.