Identifying & Treating Gout
Symptoms of gout tend to appear suddenly and without warning. They commonly appear in the middle of the night, and there are no preceding warning
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- Severe pain in the joints. Gout most commonly affects the biggest joint in your big toe. It can also occur in the wrists, hands, and fingers and in the ankles or knees. The pain is most intense in the first 12 hours after it begins.
- Ongoing discomfort in the joints. After an attack of gout, pain may subside. However, you might still feel some discomfort in the affected joint. Future attacks are more likely to last longer and affect additional joints.
- Swelling, inflammation, and redness. Affected joints may become red, tender or warm to the touch, and red.
- Limited movement. Your range of motion may be compromised by gout, making it more difficult to move your joints.
Treatment for gout usually involves a combination of medication, therapy, education, and lifestyle changes. You should speak to a doctor to decide on the right course of action according to your needs and lifestyle.
In the case of acute attacks, gout medication can help relieve pain. In addition, gout medication can help to prevent future attacks and reduce your risk of developing complications, such as urate crystal deposits.
A number of drugs are typically prescribed to treat gout. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications include anti-inflammatory drugs. Common painkillers are also very often used and they assist to reduce inflammation and swelling. Other potential anti-flammatories and painkillers will require prescriptions. You should talk to your doctor about side effects of any potential medications. One of the common side effects includes damage to the digestive tract.
Corticosteroids are two other types of drugs which your doctor might suggest to treat pain from gout. They come with more severe side effects. The effectiveness is often offset by side effects that include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Corticosteroids can affect mood and increase blood pressure.
Other medications may be prescribed to reduce the overall frequency of attacks and prevent gout from progressing to other joints.
Diet and Food
Diet is one of the number one risk factors when it comes to developing gout. Eating a lot of seafood, meat, and drinks sweetened with fructose contributes to higher levels of uric acid. Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and is filtered out by the kidneys, where it is excreted in urine. But when you have too much uric acid in your body, it starts to accumulate, forming crystals in the joints—hence, the pain, inflammation, and swelling.
If you already have gout, changing your diet will likely not be enough to control your symptoms. It can help to reduce the intensity and frequency of gout symptoms, however. You should limit alcohol beverages and any other drinks sweetened with fruit sugar. Drink water instead. In addition, limit red meat, seafood, and organ meats, which are all high in purines. Exercising and losing weight can also help to relieve symptoms of gout.
Cherries and berries have proven to have a good impact on gout. Protein wise, typically lean poultry or specific fish like salmon are a great choice. Vegetables are a core choice in a gout diet. Add in a whole wheat pasta and there’s a great dinner for anyone with gout, or close to having gout.
The information on Dabbler.com shouldn’t be used to start using dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or any other discussed products prior to a consultation with a certified doctor or healthcare professional.
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