People tend to be familiar with the concept of arthritis. The deterioration of joints that leads to pain while performing any task with those joints is understood and expected. It’s something that is often dismissed as a minor issue for the elderly.
Not as many people are familiar with the issue of gout. Gout is a form of arthritis that can potentially affect anyone! What’s scary is that gout will flare up and often cause large swollen joints in the foot and deform it, scaring the person who has it. Understanding gout is the first step in getting proper treatment for it.
What is Gout?
As mentioned about, gout is a special form of arthritis. It typically will only affect people in their feet and toe joints, but it’s technically possible to affect other joints. Gout works under the premise of flare ups. It will disappear for periods of time and then suddenly and painfully appear.
Gout typically is caused by issues within the body, or by certain foods. Uric acid causes the creation crystals in joints and causes gout. Typically, this can come from food that creates uric acid when it’s broken down. Organ meats, alcohol and fructose based beverages are common foods to avoid.
Symptoms of Gout
There’s some pretty simple and obvious symptoms about gout. Most of them are pretty similar to arthritis, but localized in areas in which gout is known to strike. The common symptoms are as follows:
- Joint Pain - This isn’t minor joint pain. This is typically very intense joint pain that will be in the toe joint. As mentioned earlier, it can happen in other joints, but it’s rare.
- Inflammation - typically, joints suffering from gout will be red and inflamed. They will feel warm to the touch and be quite tender.
- Loss of Motion - The range of motion for a joint with gout will go down. In severe cases, it can lock up too.
Gout Treatment Options
Treating gout can be done. There are a variety of treatments and there are two potential goals in any treatment. The first goal is to reduce the severity of a gout flare during the flare. This involves reducing pain and inflammation. The second goal is to reduce the number of flare ups that occur in total. If there’s less flare ups, then there’s less pain.
There are several different medications that can be used. As always, checking with a doctor is the only way to ensure that a person is getting the correct medications for their situation. Some medications offered to fight gout work on removing excess uric acid from the body, or from blocking or reducing uric acid. Other medications are simply there to try and stop the debilitating pain that a gout flare up can have.
The other way to work on avoiding gout flare ups is to tailor a person’s lifestyle correctly. The first step is to exercise regularly and work on having a healthy body weight. Naturally, this lifestyle change is almost always accompanied by a change in diet. Specifically, gout heavy foods and beverages need to be cut out or limited to a smaller amount. Water typically replaces high fructose beverages or alcoholic ones.
There are other alternative treatments that are still undergoing more studies and need more research. There are some foods and beverages which may assist in gout avoidance. Cherries and coffee are two examples of items which require more research into their gains. As always, check with your doctor before trying anything, since they know an individual's situation best.
The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.