Gout is a condition that can be helped significantly by a change of diet and lifestyle. It is usually associated with “high-living” and is known for its ability to cause inflammation. This condition causes painful crystallizations of uric acids around the joint. Over the years, I have seen many patients with gout. I also think I have seen a few women in my clinic complaining about this very painful condition. I can still recall the first gout patient that I saw. I was working in the student clinic in late 90’s. A middle-aged man came in complaining about a painful right ankle and large toe. He was a mechanic and enjoyed a beer. However, he stated that he couldn’t bear to live with the pain any longer.
Gout attacks of pain are usually sudden and often subside after treatment. Gout attacks can last for weeks and can cause severe pain. If severe pain in a joint persists or lasts longer than a few days, you should consult your doctor immediately. This is especially true if the pain is accompanied with fever or chills. Let’s take a closer look at what gout is, how it occurs, and what the causes are. We will also discuss some natural remedies that can be used to help gout patients. Gout is considered a form of arthritis and is the most painful. There are many types of arthritis. One is osteoarthritis. This is the “wear-and-tear” arthritis that affects larger joints such as the hips, knees and back.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory (heat-related) arthritis that affects smaller joints such as the fingers, writs and hips, is another type. Gout, which I refer to as the “red-blooded man’s arthritis”, is another option. I remember reading a book about the golden age of discovery, when large ocean-going vessels like the Endeavour were common. Gout was a common problem for many officers aboard such vessels. These were the commanding officers who drank a lot of rum and ate lots of beef with gravy.
What has changed?
What has changed? Blokes still love to command, drink rum, coke, or cold beer, and eat hotsteaks. I have never seen a gout-stricken vegetarian and I doubt they exist in this country. Acute, recurring attacks of pain, tenderness and redness around the smaller joints, especially the joint of your big toe. You may be wondering why the big toe. It is common sense that it is the joint at your lowest point, where gravity tends to cause deposits of uric acids and other wastes. If you are right-handed, your right big toe joint is more likely to be affected than your left.
This is because your right foot will lead you as you walk and has a slightly higher circulation of nutrients (and thus a little more deposition wastes) than your left. Reflexologists often refer to “crystals” around the toe joint. You can feel “crunching”, if you press down on your toes or wiggle your toes occasionally. A patient may also feel a sharp, intense pain in one small joint, especially the wrist or toe. The affected joint may feel red, hot, swollen, or even throbbing. It might feel “on fire”. It can feel like you are “on fire”.
Gout affects about 0.5% of the western population. Gout affects more than 95% of men over 30. Gout is 20 times more common in men than it is in women.
Gout is strongly linked to being overweight and having high bloodpressure. Gout can also be seen in women, especially after menopause. Gout can also occur in Maori (New Zealand’s indigenous peoples) or Pacific Islander peoples. I see many Maori patients who love abalone, mussels and roe (fish eggs similar to caviar), and crayfish (like lobster) as well as the Maori patients. Gout could also affect African or indigenous Americans, especially if they live in Western countries and eat high-purine foods. Gout is most common in overweight men who drink large amounts of alcohol, eat a lot of meat, and have high cholesterol and blood pressure.
What causes acute gout attacks? Gout can be caused by certain medications, including some diuretics. Gout can also be caused by medications such as niacin (Vitamin B3) and aspirin.
- Some diseases, such as leukaemias and lymphomas, can cause excessive uric acid production in the body. Studies have shown that people with gout are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism (low thyroid function).
- Dehydration (alcohol and caffeine dehydrates).
- Injuries to the joints.
- Excessive intake purine-containing foods (see the list below).
- Excessive alcohol intake.
- Recent surgery (this could be due to changes in the body’s fluid balance as a result of fasting prior to surgery).
- Family history – genetic.
What is Uric acid? About 70% of gout sufferers have an excess of uric acids, while 30% of those with gout have poor elimination. It is therefore a good idea to avoid foods that can cause uric acids to build up and to improve the elimination process by the kidneys. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s breakdown of certain foods. Gout was once thought to be closely linked to diet. Gout can be caused by uric acid excretion problems. It is now well-known that this is one of the most common causes. Many gout sufferers have been helped by improving their kidney function. This is what I have seen over the years.
Uric acid is produced by the metabolism of purines, chemicals found in many foods. The body also contains purines. Normally, excess uric acids are eliminated through the urine. However, in people with gout, uric acid builds up in the body. This could be due to a reduced excretion or an overproduction of uric acids by the body. Kidney stones can also be caused by uric acid accumulation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a doctor to realize that it is important to improve kidney function in order to treat gout.
Gout can be painful. Where does the pain come from? It is simple. Uric acid can build up in the blood and tissues, and crystallize into joints, forming tiny, jagged, needle-shaped crystals. Gout attacks are a painful form of arthritis that triggers an intense inflammatory response. Do you remember being annoyed and irritated when you stood on a pin, a needle or broken glass? You will be able to see how gout sufferers feel. They can feel as annoyed and annoyed as a child standing on a pin cushion. Many people can feel the worst of pain.
Gout is most commonly felt in the big toe. However, other joints, such as the ankle, knee, wrist and elbow, can also be affected. The first sign is usually acute pain. After that, the affected joint becomes inflamed (almost infection-looking), and it becomes red, swollen and hot to the touch. I have seen cases of gout in clinics that the doctor called “osteoarthritis”.
What to do?
Applying ice packs and resting the joint in a splint may help. I recommend ice as a great treatment for acute gout. Prevention is what you should be focusing your attention on. It is as important as treating gout.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. This is my big one.
- Weight loss is often necessary. This can be accomplished by reducing dietary fat intake and calories. It should be combined with a regular (walking!) program. Avoid “Crash diets”, as they can cause an increase in uric acids levels through lowered urinary excretion. You put more stress on your liver and kidneys when you lose weight too quickly, and you end up with more problems than solutions.
- Dietary changes to lower blood uric acid levels. Avoid purine-rich foods like shellfish and organ meats (liver brains, kidney, etc. ), and fish roe and abalone, lobster, crayfish and crabs, as well as anchovies, anchovies, and sardines. Limit your intake of dried beans, peas, and yeast products such as beer and bread. Apply ice to the affected area. Sometimes, a foot spa may also be helpful.
- Aromatherapy and reflexology have helped many patients. Water This is the big one. Drink at least six glasses of water per day, and one before you go to bed each night. It helps eliminate uric acid. The more you urinate, the more uric acids you lose. Lower serum uric acids levels.
- Vitamin C in doses of 4000 to 8000mg/day increased urinary excretion of uric Acid and lowered serum levels in many trials. This would reduce the risk of developing gout. However, rapid mobilisation of the uric acid can trigger a gout attack. Vitamin C supplementation has not been shown to have this effect. Also, sweet yellow and red sour cherries proved to be effective. I have seen significant improvements in several males who increased their cherries intake during acute attacks. They have experienced major pain relief (drug-free), within a week. Folic acid taken in 10mg/day when combined with unspecified amounts of vitamin C has been shown to lower serum uric acid levels.