What is Gout and Gout Symptoms?
Gout is an extremely painful type of arthritis that commonly infects the feet. People who suffer from gout attacks feel great discomfort when uric acid levels in the body rise higher than normal and begin to gradually accumulate around a joint. This facilitates the formation of uric acid crystals which trigger painful gout symptoms. High level of uric acid is the principal cause of gout and factors such as stress, alcohol, foods such as red meats and some medications have been identified as some of the major contributors of increased uric acid.
Gout attacks begin with warning signals such as itching, a tingling feeling or a burning sensation in a joint. These early signs show up approximately two hours before a flare-up begins. In some cases, you will realize your joint becoming sore or stiff after the first symptoms have become visible. People who have repeatedly suffered from gout attacks know their bodies and are always able to tell when a gout attack is about to happen. On the other hand, there are individuals who’re caught unawares with a sudden painful joint.
Once the gout flare begins, a lot of people have swelling joints, redness and severe pains in a single joint. The big toe is usually the most affected but gout can also attack ankle, knee, elbow and wrist. The pain is so painful that you cannot touch the affected area or let anything come into contact with the inflamed joint.
What Causes Gout?
Having discussed what gout is and how a flare-up manifests itself, it’s important to find out what causes this condition.
Some Food Causes of Gout:
Consuming too much alcohol especially beer increases the ability of your body to excrete uric acid. This will definitely contribute to an accumulation of uric acid in the bloodstream increasing the risk of gout.
Excessive Sugar Intake
Nowadays, a lot of people consume drinks and foods with high sugar levels. Check the labels of the products you consume and enjoy to verify if ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup which increase the levels of uric acid have been included.
Avoid Consuming Soda and Diet Drinks
These drinks have artificial sweeteners added to them. Studies have shown that some of these sweeteners contribute to raising uric acid levels exposing consumers to the risk of gout.
Additional Causes of Gout:
Aspirin raises uric concentration levels in the blood which can then facilitate deposits at the joints particularly fingers and the big toes. Those increased deposits at the joint of uric acid lead to an increased chance or getting gout.
When you reach menopause, the hormone estrogen which is in charge of assisting the kidneys excrete uric acid becomes lower. And with less of the hormone, the ability to excrete sufficient amounts of uric acid is lessened which increases the chances of getting gout.
Physical injuries to your big toe can trigger gout especially if the injury extends to the joint. Uric acid easily collects at injured joints and damage to your toe can increase the uric acid amount and have the long term impact of causing gout.
Wear low heeled as opposed to high heeled shoes which can exert undue pressure on your toes. Yes, they may look great but they are hard to walk in and can cause long term health issues including gout….is that worth it?
What Can You Do to Relieve and Prevent Gout?
Drink Plenty of Water
Not having enough water in your body can make it easier for uric acid levels to increase. Water is a key component that helps to normalize your uric acid levels. Water hydration is a key measure for relieving gout. However, avoid carbonated drinks as we mentioned above is also helpful.
Eat Foods Rich in Omega 3
A gout diet would include foods rich in Omega3 essential fats such as salmon, mackerel, sardine, walnut and flax seeds provide relief to swelling and inflammation caused by gout.
Consume High-Fiber Foods
According to studies, foods rich in dietary fiber have been found to be effective in reducing levels of uric acid because they absorb the acid into the bloodstream and excrete through the kidney.
Bananas not only provide a remedy to gout swelling and inflammation, they also play a pivotal role in reducing uric acid. So get more bananas in your diet!
Studies have concluded that cherries and their extracts play a key role in reducing gout attacks by facilitating the kidneys to dispose off excess uric acid. Cherries are rich in bioflavonoids and anthocyanicns known to offer relieve to arthritis.
Blueberries and strawberries have excellent anti-inflammatory abilities which help to offer relief from gout.
Additional Gout Treatment Options:
Green tea is an excellent remedy for keeping in check the high levels of uric acid thereby substantially reducing your chances of getting gout.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acidic properties which provide relief from acute pain associated with gout attacks. Honey which has good anti-inflammatory properties can be added the mixture. Make an effort to drink this mixture at least twice a day.
Cucumber’s natural juice which you can prepare from the comfort of your home is instrumental in lowering your body temperature. Because of its alkaline nature, cucumber juice works perfectly to stop the crystallization of uric acid in the joint.
Ginger is also good at reducing joint inflammation. Ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in both pain relief and inflammation.
You have heard that old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it works here as well. Apple contains Malic acid which is a uric acid neutralizer that prevents the accumulation of uric acid. Eating one apple after every meal is a good natural remedy for gout prevention.
Lime and Celery Seeds
Lime and Celery extract both tame uric acid levels in your body. Lime juice has citric acid which is a known solvent for uric acid.
And a Few More Gout Tips:
When you create a solution of baking soda mixed with water and drink it, uric acid levels in your body are reduced. Drinking this solution at least four times a day will help a great deal.
People who regularly exercise and have a fitness regime, remain active and avoid becoming overweight which promotes gout have better preventative success and avoid flare ups.
A Few Gout Treatment Ideas When a Flare Up Occurs:
Apply Cold Packs to Affected Area
Cold packs and compressors are known to substantially reduce both pain and inflammation of the joint. Icing the joint for about half an hour several times a day can make you feel better.
Avoid Moving the Joint
When you’re suffering from excruciating pain, it’s always better to remain in one place until the pain reduces. In most cases, victims are unable to move their joints especially when the pain is unbearable. Try to use a pillow or place your joint on a soft surface to raise the joint.
Gout causes a lot of suffering for millions. Finding options to help ease that or decrease the likelihood of a flare up is critical to successful management and minimizing the impact that gout can have on your life.