What is a Gout?
A gout is a form of arthritis or inflammation that results in severe pain, redness, and swelling in the joints. This disease affects the large finger of the foot the most, but gout can also affect other joints of the foot (knee, ankle, lower leg). Apart from this, its effect is also seen in the hands (wrist and elbow). The effect of this disease is rarely seen in the spine.
In normal language, freezing or increasing levels of uric acid in the body is called gout. Arthritis most commonly affects people’s feet.
If you suffer from gout, you may feel swelling and pain in the joints of your feet. Sudden and intense pain or gout attack can cause a person to feel like burning.
How common is Gout?
Gout affects one in 200 adults. The disease can affect humans of any age and gender but is more common in men than in women. This is more likely in middle-aged people than in adolescents. It can be reduced by controlling certain lifestyle factors. Your doctor can provide you more information about it.
What are the symptoms of Gout?
Many people have high amounts of uric acid in their blood, but they do not show any symptoms. This is called asymptomatic gout.
Acute gout symptoms begin to appear in 3 to 10 days due to increased levels of uric acid. In this condition, you feel extreme pain, swelling, and a warm feeling on the joints. People do not feel any symptoms during a gout attack.
- Joint pain that often occurs in the morning.
- Swollen joints.
- Burning and softening around joints.
The above symptoms may not include some of the symptoms.
It can take the form of chronic gout if left untreated for arthritis. Thick and hard knots can eventually affect your joints for a lifetime.
When should I see a doctor?
If you notice any of the above symptoms, go to the doctor immediately. If it is not treated on time, it can cause damage to the joints. Also, if you have a fever and have burning and swelling in the joints, consult a doctor immediately as it may be a sign of infection.
It is very important to get treatment right away to prevent normal arthritis from turning into chronic gout.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by a chemical present in the blood called uric acid. Uric acid is usually harmless and is formed inside the body. Mostly it comes out with urine and stool. The amount of uric acid in the blood increases in people suffering from gout disease. Due to which crystals of uric acid start to form and due to the collection of crystals, problems of redness, pain, burning, and swelling starts.
Certain types of problems such as blood and metabolic disorder or lack of water can also increase uric acid levels in the body.
It may be difficult to control uric acid levels due to kidney, thyroid problems, or genetic disorders. In such a situation, there is a possibility of getting gout conditions.
The following people are most prone to gout –
- Middle-aged men or post-menopausal women
- If your family member like father, mother, brother or sister already has gout problem
- Drink alcohol
- Eating purine-rich foods such as red meat, animal parts, and special types of fish
Several factors are responsible for gout. like:
- Decreased long-term renal function
- High blood pressure
- Excessive weight gain
- Use of some medicines
- High alcohol consumption
- After surgery or injury.
How is Gout diagnosed?
Doctors identify arthritis with the help of your medical history, physical examination, and symptoms. The test of gout depends on the following factors –
- Joint pain type
- How often do you feel intense pain in joints
- Redness and swelling of the affected area
Gout cannot be detected through a blood test. Rather, the doctor may remove some fluid from the inflamed joint from the syringe for the test. It is then studied by microscope for confirmation.
How is Gout treated?
There is no permanent cure for gout but, it can be controlled. After the treatment, you may feel that the pain and swelling have reduced and if you adopt a healthy lifestyle then future gout problems can be avoided to a large extent.
These drugs are used to treat gout, including:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat severe gout.
- Steroids may be used as an alternative to NSAIDs.
- Colchicine helps reduce gout pain.
- Medications that control uric acid levels in the blood such as allopurinol, probenecid, and febuxostat.
Lifestyle changes and home remedies to control Gout
The following lifestyle changes and home remedies can help you deal with the disease
- Limiting the amount of purine in the food.
- Reduce the use of saturated fat and low-fat dairy products in the diet.
- Avoiding eating seafood and red meat.
- Taking enough fluids.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, especially beer.
If you ever experience sudden gout and do not have medicines to deal with it, then follow these few methods-
Elevate the affected limb to reduce swelling.
Apply the ice pack on the swollen area for about 20 minutes.
Repeat the process as needed but, make sure that the temperature of the affected part returns to normal before repeating the process.
Some home remedies for gout relief are:
One of the best medicine is water, drinking water provides relief in gout. Swelling and pain are also reduced. The more water you drink, your kidneys will remove harmful things present in your body.
If there is pain or swelling in the joints, compress it with an ice pack. Apply this ice pack twice daily for 10 to 15 minutes.
If you take stress in gout, then you will have more trouble. So try not to get stressed at all. You can also do some meditation to overcome your stress. Also, exercise can help you get out of stress. For this, take a break from your work, go for a walk with family or friends. Read your favorite book, listen to music.
Gout is a serious disease that can be cured with the help of home remedies for moderate symptoms. However, if the condition of your disease is serious, contact a doctor or any nearest hospital immediately.
What not to eat to reduce uric acid?
In arthritis, it is very important to avoid low blood pressure. This can not only hinder the process of treatment but can also make the condition of gout more serious. Some special types of normal diet are naturally rich in purine, which is further converted to uric acid.
Most people do not have a problem with a diet containing purine, but if your body cannot excrete excess uric acid, then you should avoid the following types of diet.
- Animal parts like the kidney and liver
- Special types of fish such as tuna, trout, and herring
- Seafood like – Crab, Shrimp, and Shrimp
What to eat in arthritis?
Just as a diet containing purine increases uric acid levels, many other diets can help control its levels. Following are some of the diets that gout can speed up the treatment process.
- All kinds of fruits especially cherries
- Dairy products – all types but especially flame fat ones
- Vegetables such as potatoes, mushrooms, avocados, and green vegetables
- Lentils, soybeans, beans, chickpeas, and chickpeas
- All kinds of dry fruits
- Oils like – canola, coconut, olive, and flax oil
- Whole Grains like – Oats, Brown Rice and Oatmeal
If you wish, meats and seafood can be eaten in a limited amount.