Find out how to cure rapid gout and 4 drop myths that still think they are true.
What is gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a large toe. These attacks can occur again and again unless the gout is treated. Over time, they can damage your joints, tendons and other tissues. Gout is more 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 have gout. But when uric acid levels in the blood are too high, uric acid can form hard crystals in the joints.
Your chances of getting gout are greater if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called slurry. Some medications, such as water pills (diuretics), can also cause gout.
Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of Gout
What are the symptoms?
The most common sign of gout is an overnight attack of swelling, tenderness, redness and sharp pain in the big toe. You may also have gout attacks on the foot, ankle, knees, or other joints. The seizures can last a few days or weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not occur for months or years.
Consult your doctor even if your gout pain is gone. The accumulation of uric acid that led to your gout attack can still damage your joints.
How is gout diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. Your doctor may also take a sample of fluid from your joint to look for crystals of uric acid. This is the best way to try 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 may give you an injection of corticosteroids or prescribe a large daily dose of one or more medications. Doses will be reduced as your symptoms disappear. Relieving a gout attack often begins within 24 hours if you start treatment right away.
To relieve pain during a gout attack, rest the aching joint. Taking ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory drug may also help you feel better. But do not take aspirin. It can worsen gout by raising the level of uric acid in the blood.
To prevent future attacks, your doctor may prescribe a drug to reduce the accumulation of uric acid in your blood.
Paying attention to what you eat can help you control your gout. Eat moderate amounts of a healthy food mix to control your weight and get the nutrients you need. Limit your daily intake of meat, seafood and alcohol (especially beer). Drink lots of water and other fluids.
Gout is characterized by sudden and severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.
Gout – a complex form of arthritis – can affect anyone. Men are more likely to get gout, but women become increasingly susceptible to gout after menopause.
A gout attack can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the feeling that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the leaf on it may seem intolerable.
Fortunately, gout is treatable, and there are ways to reduce the risk of gout recurring.
The signs and symptoms of gout almost always happen suddenly – often at night – and without warning. They include:
Severe pain in the joints. Gout usually affects the large joint of your big toe, but it can occur on your feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists. The pain is likely to be more severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.
Persistent discomfort. After the most severe pain subsides, some discomfort in the joints can last from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks will probably last longer and affect more joints.
Inflammation and redness. The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
Limited range of motion. Decreased joint mobility may occur as gout progresses.
When to see a doctor
If you experience sudden and severe pain in a joint, call your doctor. Untreated gout can lead to worsening pain and joint damage.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have a fever and a joint is hot and swollen, which can be a sign of infection.
Are there treatments and home remedies for gout?
When gout is mild, uncommon, and uncomplicated, it can be treated with changes in diet and lifestyle. However, studies have shown that even the most rigorous diet does not decrease enough serum uric acid to control severe gout, and therefore medications are generally necessary. When attacks are frequent, renal uric acid stones have occurred, tophi are present, or there is evidence of joint damage from gout attacks, medications are typically used to lower the level of uric acid in the blood .
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