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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Issues and Diet >>  Gout

Gout Symptoms

Gout can be described as a complex type of arthritis that is characterized by severe and sudden bouts of intense pain, tenderness, swelling and redness in the joints, especially the base of the big toe. It is a very common condition and generally affects people who follow a regular diet that is high in purines. Gout occurs when the levels of uric acid in the body reach levels that are very high and while men are more likely to suffer from gout, but the susceptibility of gout in women increases after they reach menopause. People who suffer from gout attacks at night often wake up with severe pain radiating through the affected limb. It is important for people to get information on gout symptoms and causes so that they can seek timely medical advice as well as help to reduce the severity of this condition.

One of the most common and bothersome gout symptoms is foot pain; gout patients usually suffer from intense pain in the toes, which could also extend to the ankles, feet and knees. Once the pain begins, it usually lasts for around 12 to 24 hours. After the pain subsides, uric acid gout symptoms could include lingering discomfort, inflammation, tenderness, redness and swelling, which may last for a few days or even a week. Some symptoms of gout could be an indication of a serious problem and therefore, should receive immediate medical attention. In case a patient suffers from fever and joint inflammation (where the joint is very hot to the touch), it is important to consult a doctor immediately, as these are serious gout symptoms.

Gout Treatment

In most cases, the treatment of gout includes medication that has been prescribed by a doctor. The treatment options advised by a doctor could depend on factors like the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s overall health. At times, certain types of over the counter gout treatment medication help to reduce gout attacks; they also prevent future attacks from occurring. Some of the medicines that are a part of the gout treatment guidelines include Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Colchicine and Corticosteroids.

It is also essential for people to follow a gout treatment diet, in order to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. Foods that are high in uric acid and should be excluded from a gout diet include:
  • Beverages and foods containing sugar and alcohol
  • Few vegetables like cauliflower and spinach
  • Gravies that have been enriched by meat
  • Meat organs, which include kidney, liver, brain, tongue and so on
  • Mushrooms and asparagus
  • Peas and beans
  • Red meat varieties like pork, beef and lamb
  • Varieties of seafood, such as mussels, herring, scallops, haddock, fish eggs, anchovies, sardines and cod
Just like there are certain foods to avoid, there are several foods that are good to eat too. Given below are some of the most common gout diet foods to eat:
  • Cereals
  • Fresh fruits like strawberries bananas, blueberries and papaya
  • Low fat dairy products, like skim milk, plain yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Nuts
  • Rice
  • Seeds
  • Steamed or raw vegetables (except potatoes and corn)
It is important for gout patients to eat either one pound of black cherries or wild cherries, or to drink some cherry juice each day. Natural gout treatment not only includes dietary changes, but could also comprise the use of certain herbs. Herbal gout treatment includes celery seed, burdoch, bachu, alfalfa and devil’s claw. Gout remedies are incomplete without getting an adequate amount of exercise. It is important for people to ensure that they do not lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Gout Causes

Most people prefer to use home remedies for gout treatment, in order to speed up the recovery process. However, there is a correlation between gout causes and remedies and therefore, before using any home remedy, it is important for people to consult a doctor and identify the potential causes. Some of the home remedies that may be recommended for various gout causes and cures include dandelion pills, Epsom salt soak, bearberry extract, apple cider vinegar, applying cold and raw cabbage and raw fish compresses.

Gout causes and symptoms

Gout causes include food items that are high in purines, which cause the levels of uric acid in the body to build up. However, it is important to realize that even those people following a low purine diet could have high uric acid levels, if they do not consume an adequate amount of water each day. Nevertheless, there are several other factors that could also lead to gout, such as:
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Consumption of a high purine diet
  • Enzyme defects leading to a breakdown of uric acid
  • Exposure to high amounts of lead in the environment
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Taking certain vitamins
  • The aging process
  • Use of certain medication, such as diuretics
Many people are at a high risk of developing gout, after having undergone surgery, trauma or a severe illness. People who have recently been through chemotherapy, or are very stressed may also be more prone to gout. Some of the common symptoms of gout include:
  • Blood in the urine
  • Difficulty in urinating accompanied by the frequent urge to urinate
  • High fever
  • Major changes in the urine color
  • Moderate to intense pain in the back, abdomen, sides and groin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Peeling off of the skin on certain areas
  • Severe pain and discomfort in the toes and the joints
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in certain parts of the body
  • Swelling, inflammation, soreness, tenderness and redness in the affected joints
  • Weakness and lethargy

Types of Gout

It is a well-known fact that gout is a type of arthritis, but not a lot of people are aware of the fact that there are four different types of gout too. These types of gout, are primarily divided into two Primary hyperuricaemia and Secondary hyperuricaemia. Apart from these two, there are 4 other different types of gout too, which include asymptomatic gout, interval gout, acute gouty arthritis and chronic tophaceous gout.

Since the causes, symptoms and treatment for each type of gout may vary to some extent, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as any of the symptoms indicating gout become evident.
Submitted on January 16, 2014