How Do you know If you have Gout?
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Do you enjoy consuming red meat, beer, red wine, excessive amounts of alcohol, rich sauces, seafood, organ meats, anchovies, herring, asparagus, and/or mushrooms? If so, you may be at risk of getting a gout attack. What exactly is gout?
Gout, a kind of arthritis, is caused by a build-up of sharp, needle-shaped urate crystals in the joint. These crystals are responsible for the pain and inflammation connected with this condition. The increase in deposits is caused by raised uric acid levels in the bloodstream. The foods listed above are rich in purines, which are also naturally found in the body, and these purines are broken down to uric acid. Under normal circumstances, uric acid is excreted through the kidneys and urine. When the body produces an excessive amount of uric acid, a person consumes an excessive amount of purines in their diet or the kidneys are not properly removing enough uric acid, there is an excessive amount of uric acid leading to a gout attack.
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How Would You Know If You Have Gout?
Typical presentation includes a person who wakes up in the middle of the night or in the morning with a sudden onset of a red, hot, swollen joint with no preceding damage or trauma. Gout most commonly affects the big toe joint in the feet. However, it can also affect other joints such as the midfoot, ankle, knee, elbow, hands and wrists. At first along with the first or second gout attack, the joint will appear normal on a regular X-ray. However over time with frequent gout assaults, the affected joint will have limited movement, a bony prominence and will show up as a damaged joint (arthritis) on an X-ray.
Who is a Risk?
Men have a higher rate of sustaining a gout attack but menopausal women are also vulnerable to this painful condition. Also people that have uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, increased cholesterol levels and also heart disease are also susceptible to gout. Medications such as diuretics as well as low-dose aspirin also increase uric acid levels. Finally, a purine-rich diet of the above mentioned foods and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a gout attack. Therefore, reduction includes limiting purine consumption in the diet, limiting alcohol consumption, and being healthy and active.
Foods to Control Gout Attacks
Food may be nearly as effective at controlling gout as medicine is, so it's important to watch what you eat if you've got gout. This health video from About.com will ...
How is It Treated?
You experience the symptoms of a sudden onset of a red, hot, swollen joint, call your doctor immediately. If you go through the attack in the foot or even ankle, call your local podiatrist but if in other joint parts, you should contact a person primary care doctor, orthopedist or rheumatologist. In the event that left untreated, you could produce company nodules referred to as tophi under the skin or kidney stones. Your doctor will take a good X-ray of the joint, but as mentioned most likely the films will be normal especially with the first or second attack.
Blood Testing With Regard to Uric Acid is Unreliable for Gout
Definitive proof of gout involves acquiring shared fluid and having it analyzed for the presence of the urate crystals. Treatment consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a cortisone injection, oral steroidal drugs, and/or a medication called colchicine. When you go through recurrent gout attacks, you may be prescribed Allopurinol or Probenicid - long-term medications just to stop future gout attacks.
Dr. Peter Wishnie is often a podiatrist who specializes in foot and ankle surgery. His office is in Piscataway/Hillsborough, NJ. His goals are to educate the public on the care of their feet and ankles and to get them functioning as quickly as possible. For additional foot health tips on high heel soreness, get a Free copy of their book, "You Do Not Have To Suffer With Heel Pain," by visiting their website: http://www.stopfootpainfast .