Everything You Wanted to Know about Gout
What is gout caused from?
Gout is mainly caused when the uric acid in your blood level increases. Even though high levels of uric acid in your blood level also called as hyperuricemia is not harmful and all people with increased quantity of uric acid in their blood don’t get affected by gout. But when uric acid levels in your blood shoots up, it may become some kind of hard crystals in your joints causing pain in the affected area.
Even though the exact cause of increasing levels of uric acid in the blood is not known yet, it is assumed that people who are obese or addicted to drinking too much alcohol or having the habit of eating too much like meat and fish that contains chemicals like purines are susceptible to getting affected by gout. If any members of your family are affected by gout, chances are that you may get affected based on genetic reasons. Usage of water pills like diuretics may also cause gout.
Foods Rich in Uric Acid
When it comes to foods that cause gout are food items that are high in purines that is known to trigger gout attacks are provided below to ensure that you consume less of these uric acid foods like:
• Red meat and fish
• Shrimps and lobsters
• Sugary beverages
• Excessive intake of alcohol
What are the symptoms and Signs of Gout?
One of the common symptoms to find out signs of gout in toe is when you see a sudden onset of red and tender swollen joint that is stiff and painful sometimes. It is also called as an acute inflammatory arthritis. It attacks mainly on the base of the toe on your foot and swelling may happen. First signs of gout in toe can also be seen occurring in other joints, including your knee, ankle and small joints in your hands. These swellings occur due to the uric acid forming into some kind of hard crystals called tophi in the joints. High levels of tophi may lead to chronic arthritis due to the fact that bone gets slowly eroded. Increases levels of uric acid may also result in the formation of stones in the kidney.
People with severe gout attack may feel intense pain in the affected area that even a small cloth rubbing the area can cause severe pain. This condition is also called as podagra, where the base of the big toe is affected. Other symptoms include joint pain, fatigue and high fever. Sometimes even without any treatment, the symptoms of gout in big toe vanish completely in a few weeks, but it is possible, it may return to the same or another joint is necessary treatment is not taken.
How long does gout last in big toe?
An acute gout attack may last for a minimum of 3 days and for a maximum of 10-12 days. Some people may have only one gout attack during their lifetime and for some it may disappear immediately and only to appear again if no necessary treatment is not taken.
It is important to take care of a gout attack immediately as it may severe in the first 12 to 24 hours and you may even have severe pain and swelling in the area. There are even cases where some people have suffered for almost 2 months. So it is important to have gout treated immediately as possible to prevent any future attacks.
How to get rid of gout naturally?
In addition to taking necessary medication for treating gout, you can also ease the pain in some natural ways including:
• Try Cold Packs:
If there is not so much pain, it is better to apply some cold packs on the area to lessen the pain. Try to apply ice packs on the affected area for up to 20-30 minutes as many times you need per day
• Give some Rest to the Joint:
It’s always better to give some ample rest to the joints until the pain recedes. Try using some pillows to keep your joints in a raised manner. But people with a severe attack may have severe pain that they can’t move their joint anyway
• Drink More Water:
Uric acid levels increase even when the body is short of the required amount of water content. So make sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day to ensure the uric acid levels are maintained at a normal level
• Eat Carefully:
It is important to watch what you take for food and drink. Make sure to avoid foods that are high in purines including meat, organ meats, alcohol and sugary beverages.
Try our 28 day clean eating meal plan
Gout Home Remedies
When it comes to answering the question about what is the best thing to take for gout, there are a few home remedies that can provide instant relief from the acute pain from gout, which includes:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar for gout is one of the best home remedy for treating gout. It can also be used to treat acidity and headaches. The acidic content in Apple cider vinegar will help to reduce the acute pain caused due to a gout attack and provides gout pain relief in 2 hours.
How to Prepare:
o Take a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and mix it in a glass of water
o Add honey if you need
o Drink this for at least 3-4 times a day to treat gout
Ginger roots contain great anti-inflammatory properties that can be hugely helpful in treating the acute pain caused due to gout. It can also reduce the inflammation to a great extent.
How to Prepare:
o Take equal amounts of turmeric powder, ginger root powder and fenugreek powder
o Mix a teaspoon of this mixture in a glass of warm water
o Take this for at least twice daily
o Another method is to apply the paste created from ginger root in the affected area to reduce the pain. Leave this paste for at least 30 minutes on the area and try to use this once daily
o Or just add a half teaspoon of ginger root and put in a cup of boiling water. Drink the solution twice a day to relieve from the pain
One of the major reasons that causes gout is the increased levels of uric acid in your body and baking soda can be really helpful in reducing the amount of uric acid and in turn reduce the pain to a great extent.
How to Prepare:
o In a glass of water, mix half tablespoon of baking soda and drink this solution for a maximum of 4 times a day
o Try to continue this for 2 weeks and you can see a considerable reduction in the uric acid levels and the pain
o Try not use this method if you are above 60 or suffering from hypertension
Alkalizing the body and neutralizing the uric acid levels in the blood stream is important and a best way to get rid of gout. Lemon juice and baking soda help to achieve this to a great extent. Also, try to eat fruits rich in vitamin C to strengthen your body tissues and reduce the inflammation.
How to Prepare:
o Take one and half tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with a lemon juice made from a single lemon. Wait till it settles down and drink the mixture immediately after it settles down
o Or else you add the juice of one lemon in a glass of water and drink it for 2-3 times a day to get relief from gout pain.
Cherries are rich in anti-oxidant properties and helps a great deal in treating gout in a natural way. They also contain anthocyanins that can reduce gout flare-ups and also inflammations to a great extent and of the best home remedies for gout in the elbow.
How to Prepare:
o Patients affected with gout can have up to 15-20 cherries a day. It can be either sweet or sour, that doesn’t matter. It is better to start your day by adding cherries in your breakfast.
o Or better to have a glass of black cherry juice in the morning. You can even add some garlic cloves if needed.
How to get rid of gout?
To get rid of gout, you should include both medical treatments as well as changes in your lifestyle as well. The below treatment will provide all answers to your questions, including how to get rid of gout in your foot.
To treat an acute gout attack:
For immediate treatment and the fastest way to get rid of gout attack or for gout pain relief and to reduce swelling caused due to a sudden attack, try to follow the things outlined below:
Try to take an anti-inflammatory medicine as soon as you feel any acute pain or swelling in the affected area
Use ice packs and apply on the affected area to reduce the pain to some extent
And make sure to keep the affected area in an elevated position to reduce the pain and swelling
Try to drink as much of water as possible to neutralize the uric acid levels in your body
Fix an appointment immediately with your doctor
Keep yourself relaxed as increased stress levels also can aggravate gout and increase the pain
Sometimes a gout attack may vanish completely within a few weeks, but the first 36 hours is important as it may cause some acute pain. Even if it disappears or if you don’t feel any pain or swelling, it is utterly important for you to consult with a doctor and take some treatments to prevent another gout attack in the same area or in some other joints in your body
Medications for Treating an Acute Gout Attack
Here are some medications that are widely used in treating acute gout attacks.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Ant-inflammatory drugs are widely used to reduce the pain and swelling caused due to an acute gout attack. It can shorten the period of the attack to a great extent if it is taken within 24 hours of the attack.
When you feel acute pain in the affected area, it is better to take some Corticosteroids either in the form oral medicines or injected into the affected area to reduce the pain and swelling to some degree. When more than one joint is affected, periodic injections are provided if the attacks don’t respond to a single injection. Sometimes a synthetic drug called the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is injected to produce corticosteroids naturally in the human body to treat gout attacks. These medicines usually start working usually with 24 hours of taking them.
Colchicine is extracted from a plant that has been used for treating acute gout attacks for more than 2000 years. It instantly helps in reducing the pain and swelling to a great extent. Some of the common side effects in using Colchicine are nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Even severe side effects have also been reported. But it greatly reduces the pain from a gout attack if it is taken immediately after a gout attack.
Reducing Uric Acid Levels
One of the important things to prevent gout attacks is by reducing or maintaining the uric acid levels in your body. Medications to reduce uric acid levels should be taken after a gout attack and as taking it during an attack may worsen it to some extent. These medications provided to lower the uric acid levels also may provide some complications as it allows the crystals to shift and may even trigger another attack. But make sure to follow the guidelines prescribed by your doctor
Using Allopurinol may greatly reduce the production of uric acid in your body. It is normally provided in lower dose initially and then gradually increasing the dose to some higher levels. Some side effects reported include skin rashes and stomach upsets. Once your body adapts to the drug, all stomach problems caused due to the drug goes way. This medication can also cause some severe allergic reactions.
If you happen to see any side effects from the usage of Allopurinol or if you are suffering some kind of kidney diseases, then using Febuxostat may be a good option. It also helps in lowering the uric acid to a great extent. Like Allopurinol, it is also started with lower doses and gradually increased if the uric acid levels are higher in your body. Some of the side effects from this medication may include muscle pain and nausea.
It directly acts on the kidneys to get rid of uric acid present there and this medication is recommended to be used daily along with any antibiotics to boost effectiveness. Some of the side effects reported with this medication include rashes on the skin, kidney stones, nausea, headaches and stomach upsets.
Lesinurad is an oral drug that largely reduces the uric acid present in the body. It can be used along with Febuxostat or Allopurinol to enhance its effects, when people don’t react to those two drugs alone. Some of the common side effects using this medicine may include increased levels of blood creatinine, headache, flu, kidney stones.
Pegloticase are used in patients with a condition called refractory chronic gout, where they won’t respond to any kind of standard medications. This is where pegloticase comes into play as it quickly reduces the level of uric acid than other medications. Some of the side effects may include infusion reactions, gout flares, nausea, bruising, sore throat, constipation, chest pain and vomiting.
How gout is diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnosing gout the doctor will take the patients’ medical history into consideration and examine the affected area or send for a blood test for more analysis. The doctor may also look for signs of gout in elbow or any other symptoms of gout in the elbow or in the body and check with what kind of medications that the patient has been taking from the beginning of the disease along with diet being followed by the patient. He also checks how quickly the gout attack came and how intense the infection as of now along with the severity of the pain and swelling before taking any kind of treatment for gout in toe.
The patient will be subjected to take a blood test to measure the levels of uric acid in the blood stream. The doctor also checks the patient thoroughly to see if there is any other potentials causes due to joint pain and inflammation. High levels of uric acid alone doesn’t mean you have gout and normal level also doesn’t mean you don’t have gout. He may also take some fluid from the affected area to examine to see if any uric acid crystals having formed there. If there are any uric acid crystals found in the area, it is the best way to confirm that you have been affected with gout.
Tips to Overcome Gout Flare-up
If you ask anyone who’ve suffered from gout attacks what is the worst experience in gout attacks and many may say that gout flare-up is the worst one. So provides some tips to overcome this gout flare up and to reduce that extricating pain during those times.
Take Regular Medication
Remember when you were handed a prescription for pain medication or told to pick up a certain pain reliever from the drugstore? You were probably given explicit instructions on how to take those medications so as to reduce the pain.
Get Ample Rest
If you are diagnosed with gout, it is extremely important that you take sufficient rest to ensure that the affected area is not disturbed at any cost. In conditions of having a gout flare-up, rest is important as it involves not moving your legs or arms to a great extent. Since the pain in your gout happens because when you move your legs the uric acid crystals also move causing intense pain. So keeping your legs or arms stable may reduce the pain to a great extent and also will help to cure it quickly.
Applying ice is a great way to reduce the pain and swelling to a great extent. Try to use ice packs and try to press on the affected area for about 30-40 minutes and you can see for yourself some reduced pain immediately. It will not stop the pain indefinitely, but will reduce it for the time temporarily. So whenever you feel intense pain, have ice packs ready in your refrigerator and apply on the affected are and get relief for the time being. You may even wrap the ice packs in a towel and then apply on the affected area so ice is not in direct contact with the skin.
Drink Extra Fluids
Dehydration may also influence the conditions for a gout flare-ups. So it is important to stay hydrated all the time when you have a gout flare-up. When your body has lesser water content, the uric acid level automatically increases and this kidneys cannot handle the increase in these levels. So if you happen to have a gout flare-up, make sure to have water or some fluids taken regularly to maintain the uric acid in your body. Taking regular water may also decrease the chances of getting a gout flare-up to a great extent.
Gout in Elbow Treatment
When it comes to people getting affected with gout, one of the most common areas is the big toe region. But there are instances where it affects the elbow. People who are affected in the elbow region are most probably earlier effected in the toe or feet region and over the years it may travel upwards and affect the elbow and fingers as well. Normally people won’t get attacked in the elbow for the first time when affected by gout and it may happen to persons who could have lived with gout for so many years. Sometimes for these people, a gout attack may occur in multiple places including elbow and knee also.
A gout attack normally occurs in the joint regions and the elbow consists of three bones, radius, ulna and the humerus bones. The first two are present in the forearm and the humerus is the largest of the three and is present in the forearm. So when a gout hits the elbow, it normally attacks the joint where the three bones connect.