Gout - Information and Resources About Gout Treatment

By: Alien

Gout is a painful and potentially disabling rheumatic disease and is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Gout accounts for approximately 5% of all cases of arthritis. Gout usually affects the first metatarsal phalangeal joint of the big toe (hallux) or the ankle joints. Gout most often affects the big toe but can also affect the ankle, knee, foot, hand, wrist and elbow. Approximately one million people in the United States suffer from attacks of gout. Gout is nine times more common in men than in women. It predominantly attacks males after puberty, with a peak age of 75. In women, gout attacks usually occur after menopause.

Gout Symptoms

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.

Diagnosis

A definitive diagnosis of gout is from light microscopy of fluid aspirated from the joints (this test may be difficult to perform) to demonstrate intracellular monosodium urate crystals in synovial fluid polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The urate crystal is identified by strong negative birefringence under polarised microscopy and its needle-like morphology. A trained observer does better in distinguishing them from other crystals.

Alcohol and certain foods can trigger a gout attack. Events such as strokes, heart attacks or surgery may also cause gout. Gout is strongly associated with obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. Because of genetic factors, gout tends to run in some families. A variety of treatments can help you manage your gout. Traditionally treatment for acute gout has consisted of colchicine , which can be effective if given early in the attack. Gout often is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (e.g., Anaprox, Naprosyn) and indomethacin (e.g., Indocin), usually for 3-7 days.

To prevent future attacks, your doctor can prescribe a medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in your blood. Changing the way you eat can help you conduct your gout. Eat a healthy mix of foods so you get the nutrients you need. Limit foods like meat, fish, and beer. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.Life style changes such as limiting alcohol consumption, and limiting meals with meats and fish rich in purines can also be helpful in controlling gout. Weight loss may be very important this condition. You should also avoid certain animal proteins, such as: seafood; liver; kidney; heart; gizzard; sweetbreads; meat extracts; and gravy.

Beneficial Dietary Supplements:

* Bromelain reduces inflammation in joints and improves digestion of proteins when taken with meals,
* Vitamin B Complex aids digestion and supports the body's enzyme systems.
* Vitamin C with Bioflavinoids lowers serum uric acid levels.

Rheumatology
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