Gout is a form of arthritis and an extremely painful one at that. This is why so many sufferers are eager to learn what gout symptoms and solutions to those symptoms are.
The first symptom most gout sufferers have is the swift and painful onset of a throbbing, hot, red and swollen joint. The joints most effected by these sudden gout flare-ups are the foot and ankle joints, and most commonly the big toe joint. A gout attack normally occurs at night and can make even the weight of a blanket on the effected joint unbearable.
With the first episode symptoms usually last between 5 and 10 days, gradually disappearing, leaving the joint to return ’back to normal’. However, once you’ve had one gout attack another will usually follow, anywhere between 6 months and 2 years.
So, what causes this sudden joint inflammation and pain?
Well, it’s a result of excess uric acid being deposited by the body into the joints and soft tissues surrounding the joints.
Uric acid is formed during the breakdown and processing of purine, a compound that is naturally found in your body and also in the food that we eat. As the liver metabolizes purine it forms uric acid as a waste product that is eliminated via the kidneys in our urine.
When there is too much uric acid being produced or the body can’t process it quickly enough, the uric acid stays in the blood stream and is deposited in ‘convenient’ places, like the joints in crystal form. It is these crystals that cause gout symptoms to flare up.
When a gout attack happens the pain can be pretty intense which sends most people running or perhaps limping for the doctor. Commonly NSAID’s will be prescribed. These are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that target the swelling in the joint, although they don’t do anything about reducing the uric acid levels. Make sure you ask your doctor about the potential side effects of these.
If the gout attack is very severe a corticosteriod drug may be prescribed instead. Steroids are very effective at bringing pain under control swiftly, however the side effects can be just as dramatic. Make sure you understand the risks involved if prescribed these drugs.
Once you have the pain from the initial attack under control it’s time to look at why you had the gout flare-up in the first place.
Some medical conditions can lead to the development of gout, such as untreated hypertension, diabetes, being obese or having high cholesterol. Medications too can increase your risk of developing gout. Low-dose aspirin can increase uric acid levels and some hypertension meds too.
Gout can be hereditary, so take a good look at your family history and be sure to tell you doctor if a close relative suffers with gout. Being a man also increases your risk for developing gout as men have naturally higher levels of uric acid compared to women. This is why when women do get gout, it’s usually after the menopause when their estrogen levels are reduced.
Finally gout can be down to your lifestyle choices. Too much alcohol is a common reason for developing gout as is eating a diet high in purine, i.e. lots of red meat, gravies, shellfish and dried legumes.
There are some medications that your doctor can prescribe that reduce the level of uric acid produced by your body. However a healthier way is to make some easy lifestyle changes that allow your body to regain its balance.
1. Follow a low purine diet - swap high protein foods for a more carbohydrate based diet.
2. Lose weight if you’re overweight, as this can reduce uric acid production. It is best to lose weight steadily rather go on a crash diet as this can temporarily raise uric acid levels, increasing your risk for gout.
3. Limit alcohol or avoid it altogether if you can. Men should limit consumption to two drinks a day, and women one drink a day.
4. Drink lots of water as this helps to dilute the uric acid in your blood and allows the kidneys to eliminate the excess more easily.
Hopefully by having the gout symptoms and solutions explained you won’t suffer another gout attack.
Up Below For Your Free Copy of The Cure Gout Now Newsletter & Discover...”
- The truth about what Gout actually is - this knowledge will enable you to discover the best treatment options.
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- The causes of Gout - and they are not always what you think.
- Common symptoms of Gout - which uncovers the little known signs of Gout and what to do about them.
- How to diagnose Gout accurately - A proven method that few people know about.
- Proven lifestyle changes that help combat Gout symptoms - this has helped many people overcome Gout symptoms for good.
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