Gout symptoms and treatment – if you are experiencing joint pain especially at night, you might be interested in this topic. The pain may be moderate at first but can worsen with each passing hour.
What are the symptoms and treatment for gout? This article contains information about gout, its signs and symptoms, diagnosis, stages, treatment, foods you should avoid, and how to get pain relief from gout.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a painful condition which causes attacks of arthritis, caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints and soft tissues. Uric acid is a waste product which comes from the breakdown of a substance called purine.
Gout is a common joint disease which affects ten times more men than women. In men, it can occur any time after puberty; in women, gout usually occurs after menopause. Genetics or family history can also play a role in having the disorder.
Uric acid crystals can precipitate in the surrounding tissues and joint space of the knee causing severe inflammation and extreme pain. The deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint space causes noticeable redness, tenderness, and swelling.
Symptoms of Gout
Usually, an acute attack of gout affects a single joint, the most common of which is the joint of the big toe. But other areas might also be affected, such as the knees, ankles, feet, heels, elbows, wrists, and fingers.
The affected joint becomes painful, red, swollen, and extremely tender. Pain will reach its peak intensity within 24 to 36 hours. The pain may be so severe that a person suffering from gout may find it difficult to stand using the affected foot or even tolerate the slightest pressure. Fever may also be present in some cases.
The first attack usually involves a single joint and will last for a few days. Most people experience a second attack within six months after the first one. Eventually, more joints may be involved; there may be a constant pain due to joint damage brought about by chronic inflammation.
How Is Gout Diagnosed?
Gout is suspected whenever arthritis affects a single joint. To diagnose the disease, a blood test needs to be performed. High levels of uric acid suggest gout. Also, fluid is aspirated from the swollen joint and examined under a microscope. If uric acid crystals are present, it confirms the diagnosis. Too much uric acid in the kidneys can lead to kidney stones.
The pain and inflammation caused by gout can be controlled with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) taken orally or by mouth. For it to be effective, treatment should start immediately after an attack.
People who experience recurrent attacks should bring their gout medications with them. Within 2 to 3 days, the inflammation subsides, and the dose is gradually reduced until it is finally stopped. Long-term use of NSAIDs may cause side effects such as stomach and liver problems, skin rashes and high blood pressure.
If gout is not responding to colchicine or NSAIDs, a corticosteroid drug may need to be injected into the affected joint. Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory hormones; prednisone is the most commonly prescribed. The condition improves within hours after treatment.
To reduce the frequency of attacks, drugs may be given to lower the levels of uric acid. Drugs such as allopurinol inhibit the formation of uric acid, while uricosuric drugs increase the kidneys’ excretion of uric acid.
High levels of purine can increase the uric acid level in the blood. Alcohol consumption must be avoided because it can precipitate an attack. People suffering from gout should also avoid high purine foods.
Foods to Avoid If You Have Gout
- dried beans
Who Are At Risk of Developing Gout?
Gout affects 10 times more men than women. Those who are over 30 years old, overweight, or obese have a higher chance of developing the condition.
You carry a greater risk if you have a family history of being diagnosed with the disease. Alcohol consumption and eating high purine foods such as liver, scallops, and sardines can increase the risk of having gout.
People who’ve undergone an organ transplant or those who have an enzyme defect that makes it difficult to break down purine is more susceptible to gout. Other risk factors are: taking medicines such as aspirin, diuretics, cyclosporine, or levodopa, taking the vitamin niacin, and exposure to lead.
Stages of Gout
- Asymptomatic (without symptoms) – During this stage, symptoms are not yet present. Uric acid level increases as it starts to accumulate in the body.
- Acute gout / acute gouty arthritis – In this stage, high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) has caused the formation of uric acid deposits in the joint spaces. This causes swelling and intense pain in the joints. It can be triggered by the presence of another illness, stressful events, alcohol, or drugs. Usually, attacks subside within 3 to 10 days. The next attack could happen within months or years. However, subsequent attacks can last longer and occur more frequently.
- Interval gout – This is the stage between acute attacks. During this stage, an individual does not have any symptoms.
- Chronic tophaceous gout – This is the most crippling stage of gout. It develops over an extended period, sometimes as long as ten years. In this stage, the condition may have caused irreversible damage to the affected joints, and in some cases, to the kidneys as well. But with the proper treatment, most people with gout don’t progress to this stage.
How to Relieve Pain from Gout
Aside from medicines, there are self-help measures that you can do to relieve the pain from gout.
- Use a topical pain reliever – The next time you feel excruciating pain from gout, try rubbing Real Time Pain Relief on the affected area. It has a special combination of natural ingredients which are fast acting. It will soothe the affected joints, and the pain will be reduced.
- Cold compress – If the pain is not too severe, apply a cold compress or cold packs to the affected joint to reduce inflammation and lessen the pain. Do this for 20 to 30 minutes every time you feel pain.
- Rest the affected joint – Do not move too much until the pain lessens. Raise the joint on a pillow or any soft object.
- Drink water – Uric acid levels can increase further if there is a lack of water in the body. Proper hydration can help in treating gout.
- Be watchful with what you eat and drink – High purine foods such as liver, poultry, sardines, mushrooms, and scallops can increase uric acid levels in the blood. Avoid alcohol (especially beer) and fructose-sweetened drinks.
Gout is a painful medical condition affecting the joints resulting in attacks of arthritis. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. Symptoms include pain, redness, and inflammation of the affected joint. The most common area involved is the big toe, but gout can also affect other areas such as elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, and fingers.
To get pain relief from gout, try applying a topical pain reliever like Real Time Pain Relief, which has fast-acting natural ingredients to soothe affected joints and help reduce pain.
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