Gout starts as redness around the joint, in most cases in men it tends to be the big toe. The redness stays and progresses onto swelling with pain often described as the worst you will ever experience. This all happens very rapidly and if the pain affected the big toe it can mean that walking will become a real problem. Pain killers do little to relieve the pain and sleeping at night can be an uphill struggle.
What is Gout
Once known as the “Kings Disease” gout was quiet common in Victorian times. However, today people as young as 25 can have an attack of gout. It is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. The body can produce more uric acid than is required. Certain foods can have high levels of sugar known as purines. The body normally passes any acid not required out of the body via the urine. If too much is left then this can metabolize into urate crystals that form around the joints. Although uric acid is the primary cause of gout in people there other factors why levels are high in the first place. A lifestyle with no exercise is one factor, poor diet, too much alcohol, red meats, junk food, seafood or obesity to name but a few but you get the picture. There are also medical conditions that cause gout, for example, hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and renal disorders. Plus leukemia and renal failure lead to cases of acute gout.
How to Treat Gout
Once the attack has commenced the doctor may assist with medication depending on the health, age and any other medical issues the patient may have. Firstly let’s look at how to relieve the current attack. By taking a drug known as Colchicine you will help in relieving the symptoms of gout. Dosage varies but could be in the region of 2 tablets followed by 2 more 15 minutes later, then another 4 all 8 within 24 hours. However, the side effects vary but most common is chronic diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
How to Prevent Gout
There are many over the counter NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen or Zyloric 300 mg which taken once a day can keep the uric acid levels low and prevent further attacks. However, it is strongly recommended that before any treatment is commenced you talk to your doctor who will advise you. Most importantly, rather than rely on drugs changing your diet may help you too. To do this, avoid a diet which contains foods rich in purines as discussed above. This gout diet will prevent the buildup of the uric acid after the metabolism of the food. Foods that are rich in purines includes fish, seafood, yeast, mainly bread products and yeast extracts, peas, beans, lentils, asparagus and mushrooms and red meat, plus processed meats that have been reformed like packets of ham, beef and chicken. Most importantly eliminate excesses of alcohol from your diet. It is recommended that you visit a dietitian or nutritionist to set up a diet best suited to you. Lastly, take up an exercise regime and go for it.