Connect with us

Gout

Hyperuricemia: What to know

Published

on

Hyperuricemia occurs when the blood stream produces too much uric acid. It does not cause symptoms but may result in conditions like gout or kidney stones.

The body produces uric acid as a by-product of purine breaking down, a chemical which is present in many foods.

In general, the kidneys filter uric acid out of the bloodstream. Hyperuricemia happens when uric acid levels are too high for proper functioning of the kidneys.

Hyperuricemia will lead to more serious conditions over time, such as gout or stones in the kidneys. Such conditions require medical attention immediately.

Eating a lower diet in high purine foods can reduce the risk of occurring this progression.

Read on to find out more about hyperuricemia signs, its causes and how to treat it.

Symptoms

A man having gout
Hyperuricemia can lead to the development of other conditions, such as gout.

Hyperuricemia is not itself causing the symptoms, but can cause uric acid crystals to form over time.

Those crystals will subsequently lead to the development of other conditions, such as:

Gout

People with gout will feel sudden joint pain that may intensify over 8–12 hour periods.

After a few days the sharp pain may diminish but continue for up to 10 days. A gout attack can come back weeks or months later, or never again.

A gout episode may also result from a trigger, such as an injury or disease.

Kidney stones

In other cases crystals of uric acid can form stones of the kidneys. Symptoms can include, depending on the size of the kidney stone:

  • severe lower back pain
  • blood in urine
  • fever
  • nausea and vomiting
  • foul smelling urine
  • stomach aches

After the stones develop, symptoms tend to build up quickly. Most kidney stones, however, are small, and move without causing symptoms.

Other substances within the body, such as calcium oxalate or struvite, can also form kidney stones.

Causes

Hyperuricemia is when blood is containing too much uric acid. It occurs because a person can not excrete enough uric acid through his or her kidneys, or they have too much of it in their body.

This buildup is often the product of a diet high in purine, a chemical that is present in many foods and beverages.

When during digestion the body breaks down purine it releases uric acid as a byproduct.

From that metabolism, uric acid enters the bloodstream. The kidneys then filter it out of the blood so it can be excreted by the body through urine.

When someone eats a high purine diet, their kidneys might not be able to filter uric acid out of the blood fast enough. This causes high levels of uric acid which leads to hyperuricemia.

Examples of high purine foods and drinks include:

  • alcoholic drinks
  • some types of fish or seafood, such as sardines
  • shellfish, such as mussels
  • some meats, such as bacon
  • organ meats, such as liver and kidneys

Other causes of hyperuricemia include errors in purine metabolism and kidney disease.

Treatment

Hyperuricemia may be treated by dietary changes.

Using less purine-rich foods and drinks will minimize uric acid in the blood. This decrease makes the kidneys flush out uric acid again more efficiently.

Low purine foods and drinks to consume instead include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • dairy products
  • whole grains
  • lean proteins
  • nuts

Additional treatment may be necessary when hyperuricemia leads to gout or kidney stones.

Gout

Doctors can prescribe drugs to treat gout episodes. A doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs which are non-steroidal, such as ibuprofen. It reduces inflammation and pain.

Stronger drugs include corticosteroids, such as prednisone, which reduces inflammation, too.

Colchicine is another drug used to treat gout inflammation.

Kidney stones

Procedure for kidney stones depends on how large they are. Smaller stones in the kidney often go by themselves. It is necessary to drink plenty of fluids while the stones move and take pain medications.

It may require removal of larger kidney stones. Doctors may use a variety of methods to remove stones in the kidneys or help break down stones in the body.

For example, shock wave lithotripsy involves the blasting of a sound wave in the kidney stones. This procedure reduces them to smaller pieces, thereby making them easier to pass through.

When to see a doctor

There are no signs of hyperuricemia which makes it difficult to know if there is a problem.

If hyperuricemia leads to gout or kidney stones, urgent consultation with a doctor is necessary. The symptoms of both conditions are easy to develop and often cause severe pain.

Summary

Hyperuricemia happens when blood levels of uric acid are too high.

This is usually the result of taking a purine-rich diet. The kidneys are unable to flush out uric acid quickly enough, which causes bloodstream build-up.

High levels of uric acid can cause gout or kidney stones in the bloodstream. Both conditions have a quick onset and can lead to severe pain.

Hyperuricemia may be treated by reducing the dietary high purine foods. Eating fewer shellfish, bacon or organ meats for example.

If the hyperuricemia progresses to gout or kidney stones, further treatment for these conditions will be needed.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

five × 1 =

Gout

What are the risks associated with gout?

Published

on

Gout is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints. When high quantities of uric acid, a waste product, build up in the blood, it can cause kidney failure. Swelling and joint discomfort develop as a result of this. Gout has a number of side effects, including joint damage, renal damage, and bone loss.

Excess uric acid causes needle-shaped crystals to develop around joints, causing discomfort.

Gout symptoms can appear in one joint at a time, and the condition frequently begins in the big toe. Individuals may develop symptoms in multiple joints across the body if they do not receive correct therapy.

Around the joints, gout can produce the following symptoms:

  • tenderness
  • pain, which may feel excruciating if anything touches the joint
  • difficulty moving
  • swelling
  • redness
  • warmth

Gout symptoms might come and go. People with the condition may suffer a flare-up of symptoms that last 1–2 weeks before disappearing.

If left untreated

Gout can not cause mortality directly, but it can lead to life-threatening complications if not treated properly.

Gout can raise the risk of cardiovascular disorders such as heart failure, heart attack, and stroke, according to the Arthritis Foundation. A accumulation of uric acid crystals, which can be caused by a variety of reasons, can damage blood vessels.

Gout raises the incidence of type 2 diabetes in both men and women, with a 71 percent rise in females and a 22 percent increase in males. It’s possible that this is linked to high levels of inflammation. Gout people are more likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure, and have high cholesterol.

Gout has been linked to a 78 percent increased incidence of moderate renal disease. Renal disease can lead to kidney failure if not treated.

Gout may also increase the risk of sleep apnea, a condition that impairs breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea can put you at risk for a variety of significant health issues, including:

Joint damage

Joint damage

Chronic gout can induce joint swelling and chronic inflammation, both of which can lead to joint damage. Stiffness and deformities are also possible side people.

Treatment

To avoid joint injury, it’s important to keep gout flare-ups under control. To immediately manage gouty edema, the Arthritis Foundation suggests the following steps:

  • Make an appointment with a doctor to get the condition evaluated.
  • Elevate the joint and apply ice to it.
  • Drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Stress can exacerbate gout flare-ups, so try to control or decrease it.
  • Request assistance with any chores that may place additional strain on the joints.

Additionally, several drugs can help reduce inflammation and minimize the duration of a gout flare, such as:

People with significant joint injury may require surgery to repair or replace severely damaged joints.

Fractures of the bones

Gout has been linked to an increased risk of bone fractures by some researchers, while there is considerable debate about this.

In a 2016 study, researchers determined that people with a history of gout have a greater risk of bone fracture.

The researchers discovered that people with gout who used medicine to treat it, such as allopurinol and benzbromarone, had fewer bone fractures than those who didn’t.

Treatment

Certain drugs known as bisphosphonates can assist people with gout and bone loss minimize or prevent additional bone loss. These are some of them:

  • ibandronate
  • zoledronic acid
  • alendronate
  • risedronate

Tophi

Tophi are urate crystal collections made up of uric acid accumulation that can form on joints and cartilage. These hardened crystals can induce lumps of various sizes to grow on various body parts, including:

  • ankles
  • elbows
  • the ears
  • fingers and hands
  • feet and toes

Tophi is a symptom of chronic gout that can appear in people who suffer gout flare-ups often. Tophi are normally not painful, but they can cause joint injury, making it difficult to move the joints.

Without treatment, tophi can develop to problems. It can be painful and deadly if they have an infection or push on a nerve.

Treatment

Tophi can be treated by lowering uric acid levels. Medication, such as allopurinol, which lowers uric acid levels in the body, may be used. A doctor may raise the dosage of uric-acid reducing drugs to prevent the uric acid from crystallizing in order to get rid of the tophi.

Tophi therapy can take a long time, and people may not observe a reduction in the size of their tophi until after several months of treatment. Tophi may need to be removed surgically in extreme situations.

Eye issues

Although eye parts are an uncommon gout consequence, uric acid crystals can cause damage to the eyelid, cornea, and iris. Tophi can also affect the upper eyelid and other parts of the eyes.

Treatment

Gout may be treated by reducing uric acid levels and inflammation, which can assist with any gout-related ocular issues. Flare-ups must be treated as soon as important, and this typically entails the use of anti-inflammatory medicines such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids.

Lowering uric acid levels through dietary and lifestyle modifications, as well as pharmaceuticals, can assist.

Kidney stones

People with gout are more likely to develop kidney stones. Urate crystals can develop in the urinary system as a result of high uric acid levels. Kidney stones can cause the following symptoms:

  • severe pain in the back, groin, lower abdomen, or side below the ribs
  • pain when urinating
  • brown, red, or pink urine

Treatment

Doctors may employ an alkalizing chemical and a medicine called allopurinol to dissolve urate stones in people who have gout.

Kidney disease

The kidneys are responsible for removing waste products from the body, such as uric acid. When uric acid levels are high, the kidneys may struggle to handle the extra uric acid.

The accumulation of uric acid crystals in the kidneys can decrease renal function and lead to kidney disease or failure.

People with kidney disease may feel tired, weak, or have poor energy in the early stages. Individuals may encounter the following symptoms when their kidney disease progresses:

  • swelling of the ankles
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • a loss of appetite

Treatment

Treatment can help reduce and slow damage to the kidneys. Treatments can include:

  • taking medications to lower uric acid levels, such as allopurinol, febuxostat, probenecid
  • reducing foods high in purine, such as organ meats and shellfish
  • drinking plenty of water
  • avoiding smoking and certain supplements, such as niacin (vitamin B-3)
  • exercising regularly and maintaining a moderate weight
  • controlling any other conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes

Preventive options

Gout problems can be reduced by taking the following steps:

  • eating a nutritious, balanced diet
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • controlling any additional conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
  • engaging in regular exercise
  • taking medications to lower uric acid or accelerate its removal
  • limiting or avoiding foods high in purine, alcohol, and sweet fruit drinks to reduce uric acid buildup
  • drinking plenty of water
  • getting regular kidney function and bone density tests to check for early signs of any problems

Gout management and treatment

Changes in diet and lifestyle, such as the ones listed above, can help control gout and lower the likelihood of flare-ups.

People with gout may require long-term care with modest, regular doses of medicine to decrease uric acid levels and assist avoid flare-ups. Colchicine may be used in conjunction with one or more of the following medications:

  • allopurinol
  • febuxostat
  • probenecid

If uric acid levels are still high and the preceding drugs aren’t working at their highest suggested doses, an intravenous injection of pegloticase every two weeks may help lower uric acid levels quickly.

When should you see a doctor?

If gout flares up, people should see a doctor to explore the best treatment choices. Within 24 hours of a gout flare-up, anti-inflammatory treatments are most helpful.

If a person exhibits any of the people of gout problems, they should seek medical help. They will also require rapid medical treatment if they exhibit any indications of a cardiac event, such as a stroke or heart attack.

Conclusion

Although gout is not lethal in and of itself, it can cause serious consequences such as joint damage, cardiovascular difficulties, and renal disease if left untreated.

Controlling gout flare-ups and lowering uric acid levels using drugs, as well as dietary and lifestyle modifications, can help manage the disease and minimize the risk of complications.

Sources:

  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ceo.12749
  • https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/gout
  • https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/gout/advanced
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/gout-complications
  • https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gout/gout-kidney-disease
  • https://arthritis-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13075-018-1782-x
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5400337/
  • https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/uric-acid-stone
  • https://www.hsis.org/a-z-food-supplements/vitamin-b3-niacin/

Continue Reading

Gout

Bursitis: What are some available treatment option?

Published

on

Bursitis is a condition that affects the joints and causes discomfort. It happens when bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that function as a cushion between bones, tendons, and muscles, become inflamed.

In the human body, there are about 150 bursae. They lubricate and cushion the points where bones, tendons, and muscles meet near the joints.

Bursitis causes these bursae to become inflamed, making movement or pressure on the affected region unpleasant.

Bursitis can be caused by overuse, injury, or inflammation caused by gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Bursitis can manifest itself in a variety of ways, one of which is tennis elbow.

The parts of the body where a person might get bursitis, the symptoms of the ailment, and how to cure it are all covered in this article.

Types

someone with bursitis

Bursitis causes pain in the area where the bursa is inflamed.

Bursitis can affect any bursa, although it is more frequent in the following areas:

  • thighs
  • elbows
  • ankles
  • hips
  • knees
  • buttocks
  • shoulders

People may refer to various kinds of bursitis by other names. Tennis elbow, clergyman’s knee, and housemaid’s knee are all common terms.

Causes

Bursitis can develop as a result of an injury, an infection, or a pre-existing illness like gout, which causes crystals to grow in the bursa.

Injury

Physical trauma can irritate and inflame the tissue inside the bursa. An impact injury or overuse of the joints, tendons, or muscles around the bursa can cause this trauma. Repetitive actions are the most common cause of overuse.

The cause of bursitis might help pinpoint which part of the body is afflicted. The following are some of the possible causes:

  • Elbow: Bursitis is a common problem among tennis players and golfers. Repetitive bending of the elbow can lead to injury and inflammation.
  • Knee: Repeated kneeling can cause injury and swelling to the bursae in the knee area.
  • Shoulder: Repeated overhead lifting or reaching upward can cause bursitis in the shoulder.
  • Ankle: Injury to the ankle can result from walking too much and with the wrong shoes.
  • Buttocks: The bursae in the lower pelvis can become inflamed after sitting on a hard surface for a long time, such as on a bicycle. A person may notice discomfort in the buttocks and legs.
  • Hips: A person can develop hip bursitis due to excessive running, stair climbing, or standing for extended periods.

Infection

Infectious bursitis is more common in bursae that are closer to the skin’s surface, such as those around the elbow. A cut on the skin provides an entry point for microorganisms.

Infectious bursitis is caused by repetitive stress and misuse of joints around bursae, just like other types of bursitis. People with immune system disorders, on the other hand, may be at a higher risk of getting bursitis as a result of an infection.

Health conditions

Crystals are more prone to occur inside the bursa in people with specific health disorders. The bursa is irritated by the crystals, which causes it to swell. Gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma are among conditions that can cause bursitis.

Treatment

The severity of a person’s symptoms will determine the treatment for bursitis.

Self-treatment

With the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and basic self-care strategies, a person may be able to manage their bursitis at home.

Self-care usually involves:

  • Protecting the affected area: Padding can protect the affected bursae from painful contact.
  • Resting: Not using the joints in the affected area unless necessary can help reduce inflammation.
  • Applying ice packs: Placing towel-wrapped ice packs on the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. A person should never place ice directly onto their skin.
  • Raising the affected area: Elevating an affected area reduces blood pooling and may help lessen inflammation.
  • Taking pain relievers: Ibuprofen is effective as a pain reliever, and it may also help reduce inflammation.

Medical treatment

Although most cases of bursitis may be treated at home, severe bursitis may necessitate the use of prescription drugs.

Steroids

To ease the symptoms, the doctor may inject steroids into the afflicted area. Steroids inhibit the production of prostaglandin, a substance that causes inflammation in the body.

Doctors, on the other hand, should use caution when prescribing steroids. If taken for an extended period of time, these medicines can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of infection.

Furthermore, while steroid injections reduce a person’s symptoms, they may create a delay in detecting other bursae-related diseases. As a result, doctors may miss the best moment for some surgical procedures.

Antibiotics

If a bacterial infection is confirmed by a fluid test, the doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics. In most cases, oral antibiotics will be recommended, but in more severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be required.

A person may require surgery to drain the afflicted bursa in rare cases.

Symptoms

One or more of the following symptoms may be present in a person with bursitis:

  • pain that increases with movement or pressure
  • tenderness, even without movement
  • swelling
  • loss of movement

Septic bursitis occurs when an infection causes bursa inflammation. A person with septic bursitis may have the following additional symptoms:

  • fever
  • skin discoloration in the affected area
  • the affected area feeling hot to the touch

When to see a doctor

Many people treat bursitis at home, but if the symptoms are more severe, they should seek medical help.

More severe symptoms include:

  • joint pain that prevents all movement
  • pain lasting longer than 2 weeks
  • sharp, shooting pains
  • excessive swelling, bruising, or skin discoloration
  • fever

  • an X-ray to check for broken or fractured bones
  • blood tests to assess for rheumatoid arthritis
  • CT scan or MRI scan to look for possible tendon or joint damage

Prevention

People can take several steps to help prevent bursitis. These include:

  • Protecting vulnerable parts of the body: Knee pads can help people who kneel a lot, and elbow braces can help tennis and golf players. Athletes and anyone who walk a lot should buy a good pair of walking or running shoes.
  • Taking breaks during tasks: Aside from taking regular pauses, a person can prevent bursitis by shifting movements to use different portions of the body.
  • Managing body weight: An individual who is overweight may have higher joint stress. A person’s weight can be managed to lower the pressure on their joints and reduce the risk of bursitis.
  • Warming up before exercise: Warm up for at least 5–10 minutes before engaging in strenuous exercise. Walking at a good pace, running slowly, or riding an exercise bike are all options.
  • Performing muscle-strengthening exercises: Strengthening the muscles in the area where bursitis has developed, particularly surrounding the joint, can help to protect the area from further harm.

Conclusion

Bursitis is a condition in which a bursa, a fluid-filled sac that protects joints, becomes inflamed. Bursitis most commonly affects the elbows, knees, hips, and shoulders.

Bursitis can develop when a person repeatedly applies pressure on or moves these joints. Tennis elbow, which is caused by repeatedly bending the elbow, and clergyman’s knee, which is caused by frequent kneeling, are two common types of bursitis.

Bursitis can be caused by impact injuries, and infections can lead to septic bursitis.

Most types of bursitis will go away after a period of rest. Some people, however, may require medicine or even surgery to alleviate their problems.

Protecting weak joints, taking breaks during repetitive jobs, and keeping a moderate weight can all assist to prevent bursitis.

Sources

  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bursitis/
  • https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/bursitis
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/152120
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/hip-bursitis
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470331/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513340/

Continue Reading

Gout

What to know about gout in the big toe

Published

on

Gout is a form of arthritis that is responsible for swelling, tenderness, and extreme pain. Usually, it affects the joints and mostly starts with the big toe.

Gout flares frequently begin in the big toe, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

Particularly in the middle of the night, gout attacks can occur suddenly and without warning, initially causing severe pain. For a couple of days or weeks, a gout episode can last. Some individuals may regularly experience gout flares, while others do not have a gout flare for years at a time.

Due to an excess accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints and soft tissue, gout occurs , causing inflammation and severe pain.

Symptoms of gout in the big toe

People with gout in the big toe may notice swelling and discoloration around the base of their toe.

Gout attacks include severe joint pain that arises unexpectedly, accompanied by swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness or discoloration, including throbbing or burning joint pain.

It can affect the hands, elbows , knees, feet, and toes of an individual.

One report from 2018 notes that the discomfort can be so extreme for certain individuals that they can not bear the weight of a blanket. Within 6-12 hours, the symptoms are usually at their worst. In 1–2 weeks, the infected joint, or big toe, will recover.

The following are signs that a person is encountering a gout attack in the big toe:

  • intense joint pain on the big toe
  • rapid onset
  • swelling and redness or discoloration
  • tenderness
  • difficulty moving

People who experience gout attacks can find it difficult to walk or stand because of extreme pain and swelling.

Treatment

To treat gout in the big toe, a person may try the following:

Home remedies

If an person experiences a gout flare in the big toe, according to the Arthritis Foundation, they should contact a doctor to make an appointment.

In the meantime, they can:

  • Take medication: A person can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen, and celecoxib (Celebrex). However, low-dose aspirin may exacerbate a flare.
  • Elevate the foot and apply ice: This may ease inflammation and pain. Elevate the foot so that it is higher than the chest. Use an ice pack and apply to the toe for 20–30 minutes, several times a day.
  • Drink fluids: Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks. A person should aim for 8–16 cups of fluid per day, half of which should be water.

To help alleviate pressure on the toe, a person may also use a cane or other mobility aids while they walk. They also suggest that the big toe be taken out of a pair of socks so that there is no strain on the toe. Open toe shoes or sandals are an option.

Long-term management

To avoid repeated gout attacks along with prescribed medications, a doctor can recommend lifestyle changes.

The following lifestyle improvements are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC):

  • reducing alcohol intake and drinks with high sugars
  • taking regular exercise and maintaining a moderate weight
  • avoiding foods that may cause gout attacks, such as seafood, organ meat, and red meat

Medical treatment

Typically, gout treatment includes medications.

Drugs can be chosen by a doctor depending on the condition. Medication can treat gout attack symptoms, avoid further attacks, and lower the risk of complications of gout, such as the development of tophi, according to NIAMS.

Tophi occurs when the crystals of uric acid build up and small lumps form. They can occur anywhere, but at pressure points, such as the elbows, or around hand or foot joints, they usually develop.

Medication can include:

Causes and risk factors

Due to an abnormal accumulation of uric acid, or hyperuricemia, gout occurs.

Hyperuricemia is the major risk factor for developing gout, according to the National Institutes of Health ( NIH). A quarter of people with hyperuricemia, however, don’t develop gout.

When the body breaks down purines, it produces uric acid. The kidneys normally extract a certain amount of uric acid from the urine. However, uric acid crystals can form in the joints and soft tissues when they are unable to extract enough uric acid, causing swelling and pain.

Usually, gout affects men more than women. Females have higher uric acid levels during menopause, however. NIAMS notes that being older also raises the risk that gout will occur.

The risk of developing gout can also be increased by genetics.

Other factors that can increase the risk of gout, according to the CDC, include:

  • Diet: Food can play a role in the development of gout symptoms. Eating seafood, red meat, and drinking alcohol raises uric acid levels in the body.
  • Weight: Having overweight increases the chance of developing gout.
  • Medications: Certain medications, including diuretics and low-dose aspirin, are associated with gout risk because they increase the level of uric acid in the body.
  • Other medical conditions: High blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease can increase gout risk.

How does diet affect gout?

NIAMS recommend avoiding foods high in purine, such as:

  • seafood, including cod, salmon, and mussels
  • organ meat
  • red meat
  • alcohol
  • beverages high fruit sugars

Conversely, some foods have the possibility of reducing uric acid levels, the main cause of gout attacks.

They include:

  • Cherries: study has shown that cherries might potentially help lower the level of uric acid in the body, thus reducing gout attacks. However, it would be best to consult a doctor first.
  • Vitamin C: According to a 2017 review, consuming vitamin C may increase uric acid excretion.
  • Coffee: One study suggests that people who drink coffee regularly are less likely to develop gout. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings

Complications

In the United Kingdom, according to the National Health Service ( NHS), some people with gout can develop complications, such as:

  • Kidney stones: When urate crystals accumulate in the urinary tract, kidney stones may develop.
  • Tophi: These are typically painless, but can appear in awkward places, such as the toes, and can drain white chalky material.
  • Joint damage: Some people may experience gout attacks frequently, while others may never have flare-ups. Without treatment, the gout attacks may occur more frequently and cause permanent damage to the joints.

Prevention

Gout may be debilitating, but there are many improvements in lifestyles and diets that can help prevent gout:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight: Exercise and diet may help reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
  • Reducing alcohol intake: Alcohol, especially beer and hard liquor, increases the risk of a gout attack. So, limiting or avoiding alcohol would help the body excrete excess uric acid in the urine.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids: Stay hydrated and limit the intake of sugary drinks.
  • Eat a low-fat and low-purine diet: Avoid food rich in purine, such as seafood and red meat. Instead, eat vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and plant-based proteins.

Diagnosis

To diagnose gout, a doctor has to conduct multiple tests. A joint fluid test, which involves drawing fluid from the affected joint, is one of the tests. An indication of gout is the presence of urate crystals in the fluid.

In order to examine the levels of uric acid in the body, doctors may also conduct blood tests. The NIH notes, however, that certain individuals with high uric acid will never show symptoms of gout, whereas those with low uric acid may have gout attacks.

To find signs of urate crystals and assess the cause of the inflammation, doctors may also perform an X-ray or ultrasound.

When to see a doctor

Gout occurs without warning. Anyone with extreme pain in the big toe, accompanied by warmth, tenderness, redness or discoloration, should seek medical attention immediately.

It can lead to joint deterioration over time, including bone erosion and arthritis, if a person does not receive treatment for gout.

Summary

Usually, gout attacks begin with the big toe. Gout attacks can be painful and people usually need medicine to minimize the levels of uric acid and avoid the accumulation of uric acid and joint damage.

Changes in lifestyles and diets can help prevent future attacks.

An individual may raise the foot and apply ice to relieve pain, as well as take medication.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 NccMed.com