Gout: Information, Symptoms, Causes, Gout Treatment & Relief

Gout is a type of Arthritis, that results from excess accumulation of Uric Acid in the body.

Uric Acid is a component that is produced when the body breaks down “Purines” present in our tissues and food items. Uric Acid is formed naturally and being a waste product, it is usually flushed from the body by the kidneys through urine.

However, when the body fails to flush out the right amount of Uric Acid or produces it in excess than it is normal, it starts to transform in crystals, as they have nowhere else to go. These crystals get deposited in the various parts of the body, especially around the joints. These needle-like crystals cause terrible pain, swelling and tenderness in the area. This particular condition is termed as Hyperuricemia that in some cases leads to Gout attacks.

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Most of the time, Gout affects the big toe. However, it is also seen in places like knee, foot, ankle, wrist, fingers, elbow and hand.

In other cases, some patients are known to complain of Gout in areas just under the skin, kidneys, urinary tract, or other soft and sensitive tissues.

A single Gout attack can cause severe burning pain, stiffness, and inflammation in a joint. Unless treated, these attacks will keep on happening over and over again. With time, they will harm the bones, tendons and other tissues.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, 1988-1994, more than 5 million Americans suffer through Gout attacks and live with it.In fact, Gout is considered to be the most common variety of inflammatory Arthritis that occurs in men over 40 and women after their menopause. Thus, the ratio of occurrence of Gout between men and women is 4:1.

Typically, men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are its favorite victims, but it strikes younger and older men as well. In the last 10 and 15 years post-menopausal women have also been frequent Gout attack victims.

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Gout is a painful disorder of which a person is usually unaware…until he has an attack. Gout attacks suddenly, often in the evening at bedtime or in the middle of the night.The big toe tends to appear slightly tender or a bit swollen at bedtime, but in the middle of the night, a Gouty toe can wake you with searing pain. Your big toe will be swollen, red, throbbing, hot and extremely painful to touch.


What Causes Gout?

Gout attacks might occur anytime, although in most cases it occurs in the night – especially after a heavy Purine-rich dinner. The causes can be broken down to the following:

    • Presence of too much Uric Acid in the blood
    • Drinking little amount of Water
    • Maintaining a Purine-rich diet such as meat and fish
    • Staying on medicines like Diuretics

among others.

Know more about these causes in details at Causes of Gout.


Gout Symptoms – How do I know if I have Gout?

In most cases Gout attacks occur at night. Patients have repeatedly complained of waking up in the middle of the night with severe burning pain and swelling (usually in the big toe) and soreness.

Such symptoms develop in one day, especially after eating a Purine-rich dinner. The most common symptoms are:

  • Severe pain
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling & Inflammation

Do not ignore these Gout Symptoms if they are ailing you. Gout treatment is easily available. If you leave it untreated it might damage joints and lead to disability.


The Role of Diet in Gout

You are what you eat. Therefore, Gout is influenced by what your normal regular diet is. However, if anyone says that by avoiding such and such food you will be able to treat Gout, then that is not so.

Uric Acid being a natural product in the body will always be a part of your body’s basic metabolism. However, when your body starts to produce this component in excess or fails to excrete, your body becomes susceptible to Gout

You can reduce the Uric Acid by changing your diet. Know in details how your diet can affect or prevent Gout.


How to Treat Gout?

Although Gout can cause damage to the affected areas like joints or tendons, different treatments are available these days to provide you with relief.

As a treatment you will first have to reduce the excess Uric Acid present in your blood. You can go for prescribed or non-prescribed medicines, holistic or Natural Remedies for Joint Pain. Whatever option you decide upon, always consult your doctor.

Simple home-based remedies that you can do yourself are:

  • Increase your Water intake
  • Eat vegetables and citrus fruits
  • Avoid Purine-rich diet
  • Add workouts and exercises to your daily routine
  • See your doctor regularly

However, before your treatment begins, you must Deal with the Joint Pain to aid in decreasing the inflammation and increasing movement in your joints.


Types or Stages of Gout

Gout usually progresses through 4 distinctive stages:

1. Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia – Where the person’s Uric Acid level in the bloodstream rises without any symptoms

2. Gouty Arthritis – when your body fails to excrete excess Uric Acid, it starts transforming into crystals deposits around the joints. This sets off sudden pain, swelling and tenderness and continues for 3 to 4 days.

3. Interval Gout – This phase falls between two acute attacks. This can be 1 week, 1 month or 1 year.

4. Tophis Gout – Gout is most severe and can cause disability at this stage.

Know more in details about these four stages, especially the Tophis at Types of Gout


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