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Home :: Gout

GOUT- SYPTOMS, CAUSES, TREATMENT, HOME REMEDIES OF GOUT,GOUT DIET AND AVOID GOUT FOOD

Gout is a very painful form of arthritis, an inflammation that affects the joints and tendons as well as other tissues. Gout usually affects one joint at a time and in about 70 per cent of cases the big toe is affected. It can also affect the leg, knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist or elbow. The finger is occasionally affected, the spine very rarely

Gout is a metabolic disease and often runs in families. It is associated with abnormal accumulation of urates in the body and characterized early by a recurring acute Arthritis, usually mono-articuiar (Single joint involvement) and later on, deform­ing chronic Arthritis. About 90% of patients of Gout are men, usually of over 30 years of age.

Certain food cause gout so diet plays a role. Treatment of gout can be achieved through medication and proper diet. Gout used to be thought of as a disease of the rich and famous who also ate and drank excessively.

Symptoms of gout

The most common gout symptom is sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling in some joints. It usually affects one joint at a time, especially the joint of the big toe, but can also affect the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist and elbow. Deposits of uric acid, called tophi, can appear as lumps under the skin around the joints and at the rim of the ear. In addition, uric acid crystals can also collect in the kidneys and cause kidney stones.

There are mainly two type of gout:

•  Acute gout

•  Chronic gout

ACUTE GOUT:

In acute Gouty Arthritis involvement of peripheral joint, mainly metatorsal joint of the big toe is common. It becomes so much red, hot, swollen and tender that even touching of bed clothes may become agonizing. The attack is insidious, sometimes explosively sudden and may even wake up the patient from sleep. After a few days, the symptoms and signs usually disappear followed by peeling of skin overlying the affected joint. Attacks may recur after weeks, months or even years.

CHRONIC GOUT:

In chronic Gouty Arthritis, recurrent attacks of Gout result in progressive erosion of the cartilage and bone associated with the formation of tophi (urate crystal deposition) causing con­siderable disability with Osteoarthritis super-imposed over it. Tophi are nodular thickenings which occur in tendon sheaths, bursae and cartilage of the ear. Renal Caliculi (stones in the kidneys) occur in 10% of Gout sufferers. The uric acid level in the blood would be high.

Causes of Gout

This is one of the few types of arthritis where the cause is known. It results from deposits of needle-like crystals of uric acid in the connective tissue, joint spaces, or both. Normally this is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines or waste products in the body. Normally uric acid breaks down in the blood and is eliminated in urine. When the body increases its production of uric acid or if the kidneys do not eliminate enough of it from the body, levels build up. This is called hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia is not a disease and is not dangerous. However, if excess uric acid crystals form as a result of hyperuricemia, gout can develop.

Diagnosis of Gout

Gout may be difficult for doctors to diagnose because the symptoms may be vague, and they often mimic other conditions. Although most people with gout have hyperuricemia at some time during the course of their disease, it may not be present during an acute attack. In addition, having hyperuricemia alone does not mean that a person will get gout. In fact, most people with hyperuricemia do not develop the disease.

To confirm a diagnosis of gout, a doctor may insert a needle into an inflamed joint and draw a sample of synovial fluid, the substance that lubricates a joint. A laboratory technician places some of the fluid on a slide and looks for monosodium urate crystals under a microscope. Their absence, however, does not completely rule out the diagnosis. The doctor also may find it helpful to examine chalky, sodium urate deposits (tophi) around joints to diagnose gout. Gout attacks may mimic joint infections, and a doctor who suspects a joint infection (rather than gout) may check for the presence of bacteria.

General Home Care of Gout

The affected joint must be rested during an attack.

Apply a crushed ice pack to the affected joint if it is not too tender to touch.

Avoid taking foods that are high in a sub­stance called purine as it contributes to higher levels of uric acid.

Drink plenty of water, as it will help flush excess uric acid from the system.

Avoid alcohol if there is a history of gout.

If there is high blood pressure in addition to gout, it should be controlled.

If you are overweight, slimming down is im­perative. Heavier people tend to have high uric acid levels.

Fresh air and outdoor exercise are also es­sential.

Don't wear tight shoes, which can also pre­dispose the joints to minor injury.

Try to eliminate as much stress from his life as possible.

Treatment of Gout:

Treatments used for Osteoarthritis of knees and ankles also hold good for Gouty Arthritis.

Diet-To help reduce high blood uric acid level following items should be avoided. .

. Meat, fish and other non-vegetarian food.

Vegetables such as beans, peas, cauliflower, mushrooms and spinach.

Coffee, tea, chocolate and alcohol.

Reduce wholegrains, legumes, milk, cheese, butter and sugar.

Drinking of plenty of water helps in excretion of uric acid.

Foods To Be Avoided

These include beer and other alcoholic beverages

Anchovies

Sardines (in oil)

Fish roes

Herring

Yeast

Organ meats (e.g., liver, kidneys)

Legumes (e.g., dried beans, peas, and soybeans)

Meat extracts, consommé, gravies, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, and poultry.

Home Remedies of Gout

Lime is also used as a source in treating gout. Vitamin C is known to prevent and cure sore joints by strengthening the connective tissues of the body. The citric acid found in lime is a solvent of the uric acid which is the primary cause of this disease.

The cherry is helpful in treating gout. To start with, the patient should consume about fifteen to twenty five cherries a day. Thereafter, about ten cherries a day will keep the ailment under control. While fresh cherries are best, canned cherries can also be used occasionally.

The juice of French or string beans has also proved effective in treating gout. This juice should be taken daily by the patient suffering from this disease.

Raw vegetable juices are used for gout treatment.

Apples are regarded as an excellent source for curing gout. The patient is advised to take one apple after each meal.

Bananas have been found beneficial in the treatment of gout. A patient can take eight or nine bananas daily during this period and nothing else.

When To Call a Doctor

If the joint is hot, red, swollen and the cause is not known.

If the inflammation doesn't respond to pain relievers.

If the joint pain is severe or unexplained.

If the pain and me swelling lasts more than one week.

If there is no relief from the use of ice-pack or heat.

If there has been recent injury to the af­fected joint, particularly with a sharp blow.



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