Thursday, December 1, 2011

Question on Gout

MyAchingKnees received a question from William: I think I have Gout. A lot of pain in my joints, coming and going. Sometimes it is only in one ankle and sometimes in the ankle and knee. What do you know about Gout and what can I do about it?

William, in a nutshell Gout is about too much uric acid in the blood stream leaving uric acid crystals that concentrate in your joints causing the pain. A look at Web MD will provide some base line information, see below:

What is gout?

Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. These attacks can happen over and over unless gout is treated. Over time, they can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men.

What causes gout?

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid is not harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in the blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints.

Your chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines. Some medicines, such as water pills (diuretics), can also bring on gout.

What are the symptoms?

The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness, and sharp pain in your big toe camera. You can also get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees. The attacks can last a few days or many weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not happen for months or years.

See your doctor even if your pain from gout is gone. The buildup of uric acid that led to your gout attack can still harm your joints.

How is gout diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Your doctor may also take a sample of fluid from your joint to look for uric acid crystals. This is the best way to test for gout. Your doctor may also do a blood test to measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.

How is it treated?

To stop a gout attack, your doctor can give you a shot of corticosteroids, or prescribe a large daily dose of one or more medicines. The doses will get smaller as your symptoms go away. Relief from a gout attack often begins within 24 hours if you start treatment right away. To ease the pain during a gout attack, rest the joint that hurts. Taking ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medicine can also help you feel better. But don't take aspirin. It can make gout worse by raising the uric acid level in the blood.

MyAchingKnees comment: Ahh, he we go again treating the symptoms. In all seriousness it may be necessary to treat the pain symptoms, however wouldn't a person suffering from Gout symptoms want to minimize the potential bad side effects from pain medication and try, at least initially, to get better through a solid diet of good foods and a healthy lifestyle? I would ensure I received all the nutrients in the most potent and pure form I could to reduce any effects from a poor diet and nutrient deficiency. Good luck William.

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, if bad diet is causing high uric acid, then improving diet is a good choice, but it must be supported by uric acid blood tests to make sure uric acid is kept to 5mg/dL. Also, diet changes take a long time to take effect, so it is wise to consider uric acid lowering such as allopurinol to help in the early stages.

    You also note that "Some medicines [...] can also bring on gout." so identifying these and finding alternatives is important.

    But the biggest omission is the fact that most gout is genetic. No amount of dieting will change your parents. If genetics are at fault then you need more than just balanced nutrition, you must seek natural or medical products that will lower uric acid to safe levels. Failure to do so means worse than aching knees - the uric acid deposits will eventually destroy your knees and other joints.