The Problem with Gout…
Gout is a painful and debilitation condition that occurs from swelling in the joints. It is found most frequently in the big toe joints. It usually attacks usually one joint at a time and can also occur in the ankle, foot, wrist, knees, and fingers.
Gout is caused by a build-up of urate crystals in the body. Uric acid is created by breaking down food, particularly the proteins. Under normal circumstances we get rid of uric acid by urinating, but for people with gout they are unable to expel enough uric acid which is what causes the build-up. As a result the recommended diet for people who suffer from this disease is one that is low in meat and alcohol. The onset of gout is often described as a burst of intense pain that can wake you from a deep sleep.
The affected area (often the big toe) can look swollen, hot and tender. The joint is so tender that even just touching it lightly with clothing can set off a spasm of pain.
Those who are the most at risk of developing gout are the elderly, people with chronic renal disease, and those afflicted with hypertension. Other associated diseases include anemia and leukemia. Once you experience an attack of gout it is likely that you will have another attack within a twelve month period. A typical episode will last anywhere from a few days to a week.
NSAIDs, otherwise known as anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pain. The list of drugs available is extensive and includes indomethacin and ibuprofen. In order to prevent future episodes of gout your physician may recommend Colchicine. It is effective but also has a long list of side effects that are almost as unpleasant as the gout itself and include vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Other medications available that help prevent re-occurrences of gout are Allopurinal and Probenecid. These products reduce the output of uric acid in the body, which prevents joint damage and the number of re-occurrences.
Diet and Exercise
The best way to prevent further attacks of gout is through diet. The main food sources that need to be avoided are those that contain purines. Purines are found in many foods making it difficult for people to follow the diet. Foods that are high in proteins/purines are poultry, oily fish, meat, animal internal organs, and milk and dairy products. Drinking to excess also enhances the possibility of suffering an attack, especially for those that are binge drinkers. If possible limit alcohol consumption to two glasses per day. Eating a low cholesterol diet will also improve the odds of reducing the number of gout attacks. Another factor that is important is weight. Those people who are obese are predisposed to gout. Proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle are all important in the active prevention of attacks.
It is not a pleasant disease. Some people describe the pain as the worst they have ever experienced in their lives. It is well worth the effort to modify your diet and add exercise to your daily life to help limit the agony this disease can inflict upon you.
Last updated byat .