Gout

Treatments for gout are commonly aimed at the three main aspects which characterize this condition: overproduction of uric acid, joint inflammation and swelling, and pain.

However, the good news is that this form of acute arthritis is highly responsive to treatment and is often completely relieved within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

What is gout?

A build-up of uric acid causes gout. This build-up can be brought on by either an overproduction of uric acid or normally-produced levels which aren’t being filtered through the kidneys and passed through the urine.

The overabundance of uric acid produces urate crystals deposited in the toe, knee, or ankle joints.

Who gets gout?

It’s important to note not everyone who has elevated uric acid levels will develop gout. However, this condition appears to run in families.

Men are known to be more prone than women to developing gout. However, post-menopausal women also seem to have higher occurrences.

7 Gout Remedies to Relieve Pain Quickly

Once you understand gout causes, you can work with your doctor to devise a treatment plan.  If you have ever experienced an attack of gout, you already know that pain control is the most important part of treatment.

1.  Take ibuprofen because it will help ease gout pain, and it is a great example of quality gout home remedies.

2. If you are experiencing a great deal of pain in your big toe, you should immediately soak your foot in Epsom salt. This is a great way to help relieve the pain.

3. Exercise your joints. Please put all of your joints through the full range of motion and do so one or two times daily.

Related: Foot Reflexology

4. This is one of those gout remedies that are truly effective. You want to apply ice to the area in question that is affected. Applying ice directly to the area will greatly help you reduce the pain and help tame your inflamed joints if you hold cold packs to the area for about 10 or 15 minutes.

Doing this will help calm the pain and also reduce inflammation. It’ll probably be very uncomfortable for the first few minutes, but you need to persist through this to feel better. Gout pain is definitely worse than the uneasiness you feel from the cold, so deal with the lesser of two evils and cure your gout pain simultaneously.

5. Drink an abundant amount of water every day. If you drink between 8 to 10 glasses a day of water, this will help you eliminate all the toxins in your body, and it will also dilute your uric acid levels so they can get back to a more normalized level.

6. Eat more citrus fruits, tomatoes, green peppers, berries, and leafy greens in your diet. These items are very high in vitamin C, which is excellent for those suffering from gout. But all of these fruits and vegetables also contain bioflavonoids which will seriously help you reduce any inflammation you are experiencing.

7. You need to immediately begin exercising regularly as this is one of the best things for you to do when practicing gout home remedies. This prevents you from experiencing joint pain, and if you are already experiencing any, it will help you relieve it. Exercise is a great way for you to nourish your joint cartilage.

Related: Strategies to reduce foot pain

What Is an Acute Gout Episode?

An acute gout episode is characterized by rapid onset, often waking a person from sleep. Many sufferers describe the pain as crushing, throbbing, or excruciating. The joint is usually red in appearance and warm to the touch.

What are the Symptoms of Gout?

Now that you know the answer to your question, “What is gout?” the next step is recognizing gout symptoms. Gout flares generally occur at night, out of the blue.  The affected area will become hot, swollen, red, and very tender when having a flare.

Some folks describe a gout attack as feeling like one’s toe is a volcano that is about to erupt.  Pain in the big toe is the most common gout symptom, but gout can occur in other body parts.

The next most common site for gout is the ankle or foot, followed by the knee, finger, elbow, and wrist. Gout can also occur at more than one site at a time, although it is not common.

What Happens Between Gout Flares?

If you have been diagnosed with gout, keeping your uric acid level down is important.  Even though you may not be experiencing a flare of gout, uric acid can cause crystals to form continually and build up in the joints between flares.

This can lead to future attacks in other areas, constant pain, and the destruction of your joint. For this reason, you must watch your uric acid level and take steps to keep uric acid within the body low, typically by watching what you eat.

If you have not seen a doctor yet but suspect that you have gout, don’t delay.  Talk with your doctor and learn how to control your uric acid to keep gout under control.

What are the Risk Factors for Gout?

Certain people or groups of people are more likely to get gout.  Men between the ages of forty and fifty are more prone to developing gout than women of the same age, but most women will experience gout following menopause.  People who have a family history of gout tend to get gout eventually.

Gout is rarely seen in young adults or children.  If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or kidney problems, you are at an increased risk of developing gout.

Related: Foot arthritis

What is Gout Progression Like?

Gout is a serious, chronic, and progressive disease; it may worsen over time.  The effects of gout can continue between flares.  Joint damage can occur during gout attacks if the level of uric acid in your blood is high.

Uric acid crystals can form in the joints of your feet and hands and your elbow, ear, and Achilles tendon.  You can suffer long-term chronic pain that will not go away between flares and damage to your joints.  Those with gout that is poorly managed will see limitations in mobility in the affected joints and tendons.

Gout Diet Guide

The gout diet is like any healthy eating plan recommended for nearly anyone.  As a bonus, the gout diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight, avoid other chronic diseases, and better management of your gout.

If you are overweight and have been diagnosed with gout, you should try to lose weight as part of a gout management plan.  An adequate water intake should accompany your gout diet to help flush uric acid from the body.  The basic principles of the gout diet include:

  1. Limit the amount of animal protein.  Animal protein is high in purines. Severely limit or avoid foods high in purines, like organ meats, anchovies, mackerel, and herring, including red meat, like pork, beef, and lamb.  Steer clear of or limit sparing seafood, including shrimp, scallops, tuna, and lobster.  Eat four to six ounces of meat, fish, and poultry daily.
  2. Avoid or strictly limit alcohol consumption.  Alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to eliminate uric acid.  Beer, in particular, has been linked to attacks of gout.  If you are experiencing a gout attack, avoid drinking alcohol.
  3. Avoid or strictly limit sugar intake.  If you eat too much sugar, you leave no room for the healthy foods you need on a gout diet.  Some studies indicate that sugar can directly affect the level of uric acid in your body.  Sugar is also linked to obesity and some chronic health problems.  Choose natural sweetness instead of sugary snacks, such as an apple, banana, or other types of fruit.
  4. Go for plant-based protein sources.  The gout diet calls for increasing the protein that you take in by adding more plant-based protein sources to your diet, like legumes and beans.  Cutting back on meat-based protein and eating protein derived from plants instead can also help you cut back on saturated fat, which contributes indirectly to gout and obesity.
  5. Opt for complex carbohydrates.  Eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  Avoid carbohydrates and junk foods, like white bread, candy, and cakes.
  6. Select dairy products that are either fat-free or low-fat.  Studies indicate that drinking low-fat or skim milk or eating foods that are manufactured using the, like yogurt, can work to reduce gout risk.  Try to take in sixteen to twenty-four ounces of dairy each day.
  7. Stay hydrated.  Drink lots of fluids, especially water.  Fluids help to flush uric acid from the body.  Try to take in no less than eight eight-ounce glasses a day. Some doctors recommend drinking up to sixteen eight-ounce servings of water each day.

Related: Vitamins for the foot

Conclusion

While the gout diet is useful in managing your gout, it is usually not enough on its own to treat gout.  You will still need medication from your doctor.

Nonetheless, the gout diet will help decrease the number of attacks of gout that you experience and the severity of gout. If you follow the gout diet and limit your caloric intake, you can improve your general health and enjoy a higher quality of life.