The Treatment, Causes, and Facts about Gout

Woman with gout painGout (Gouty Arthritis) is a painful arthritic disease that causes severe inflammation, pain, redness, and swelling. Patients attest that, without treatment and care, gout is debilitating, often leading to an inability to work or live life normally.

Gout occurs when too much uric acid (human waste — a byproduct of normal metabolic function) builds up in the body and isn’t excreted normally. A problem that, in and of itself, can lead to many other problems, including crystal build-up and kidney stones.

Here are some other facts about gout:

  • Though uric acid is normally absorbed by the blood, in the case of gout, it is not. This occurs when the body ups the levels of uric acid it makes, when the kidneys fail to excrete it, and with a diet consisting of foods with too many purines.
  • Your chances of gout increases when: you are male, if it runs in your family, if you are overweight, if you drink too much alcohol, or if you have had an organ transplant.
  • Gout has the potential to cause under-skin nodules called tophi.
  • Another large contributor to whether you will get gout is related to the amount of sugary drinks you consume. A recent study found that people who consume at least two sugary soft drinks a day increase their risk of gout by 85%.
  • Scientists have also found that those who consume cherries may slightly lower their risk of getting gout.
  • Visiting a doctor may only take you so far. While a rheumatologist can diagnose and prescribe treatment, those who suffer multiple attacks of gout a year need to set up their own prevention plan to curb the onset of acute attacks themselves.

If you are living with the pain caused by gout, you don’t have to. Visit a doctor today to help eliminate and treat your gout symptoms, and live a life free from pain.

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Gout: How to Deal with the Pain

Treatment for GoutWhen you have gout, learning how to manage the pain associated with it is key. An attack caused by the condition causes the affected joint to become warm, red, and swollen. Luckily, the attack won’t last forever and there are things you can do to ease your pain.

  • Rest – Sleep is important for healing. While sleeping or resting, place the affected joint above your heart. Elevating the area allows your blood to flow more efficiently, helps with discomfort, and reduces the tenderness.
  • Use Ice for Swelling – A cold compress can help reduce the swelling of the joint. Use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables and apply it to the tender spot. Allow the cold to work its magic for up to 20 minutes. Remove it for 20 minutes and repeat.
  • Add Heat for Pain – Once the swelling has gone down, add heat to lessen the hardness and pain. Be careful not to use the heat while the joint is swollen as it can cause the inflammation to worsen. Apply heat for half an hour once every 2-3 hours.
  • Stretch – To help with the inflammation and stiffness of affected joints, gradually flex the area a couple times a day. Don’t stretch to the point of pain. Yoga can benefit your condition as well since it offers you a chance to stretch on a regular basis.
  • Change Your Diet – When you have a flare-up, remove foods and liquids that are high in purines, for instance, alcohol, yeast, and organ meats.
  • Medicate – NSAIDs help with the swelling and pain of a gout attack. Before taking any medication, though, talk with your St. Louis foot doctor.
  • Talk With Your Podiatrist – There are medications made specifically for dealing with gout. Some work to prevent attacks and others block the uric acid that causes the attack.

You don’t have to let gout rule your life. Learn how to manage your pain by following the tips shared here.

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Menopausal Women at Risk for Gout Should Seek a Podiatrist’s Care

Treatment for GoutHave you ever been awoken by the sensation of incredible pain coursing through your ankles and toes? Did those same areas appear swollen and red? Perhaps they felt hot and sensitive to touch as well. If so, you may have developed a type of incurable arthritis in your feet and ankles.

Known as gout, it is a progressive disease that typically afflicts certain segments of the population. Among those that may find themselves in such situations are post-menopausal women. Researchers believe that the condition tends to occur in females, in a small part, due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause. The condition also tends to be associated with comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, alcoholism and kidney disease.

The disease is generally accepted by those in the podiatry community to have four stages. The first is known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia. The subsequent stages are acute, intercritical and chronic tophaceous. Preventive measures may be taken to help reduce a woman’s chance of developing gout. If it does form, aggressive treatment is generally given during the second and fourth stages when the body’s uric acid levels are at their greatest. It may also be given during the third stage when the disease is less active.

Because the condition is caused by excessive levels of uric acid, two types of tests are commonly used to confirm a gout diagnosis. The first type involves a blood draw. The second type consists of removing and analyzing a person’s synovial fluid. However, some members of the medical community may also request a urinalysis, X-rays and a synovial biopsy be completed as well.

Once a gout diagnosis has been made, there are quite a few treatment options that may be prescribed by your Missouri podiatrist. Some of the standard methods used early in the disease’s progression are the adoption of medication routines, lifestyle and dietary changes. In the mid to final stages, a podiatrist may recommend surgery.

The formation of something known as “tophi” tends to be the main impetus for such recommendations to be issued. Tophi are actually pockets of uric acid crystals that can be drained to alleviate some of the person’s discomfort and minimize his or her risk of irreversible joint damage. We should also mention that the pockets’ drainage may also help to improve a person’s range of motion and ambulation. To learn more about gout in women and how it may be treated, please contact our Missouri podiatry offices today.

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