Don’t SPEND YOUR TIME! 9 Facts Until You Reach Your Gout

Gout is one of those conditions that can be aided considerably with a big change in lifestyle, and is a type of arthritis which is normally associated with “high living”. This problem causes a rather painful accumulation of crystals of uric acid around the joint. I’ve seen many gout patients over time, and I think I’ve seen one or two a women through the years in my clinic complaining of this rather painful condition.

I can still remember the initial gout patient I ever saw, I was practicing in the student clinic in the 90’s. A male aged mid forties came in complaining of an extremely painful right ankle and big toe. He was a mechanic who enjoyed a beer, actually he said: “Eric, I’ll do anything you suggest, I won’t be stopping my beer however, but I can’t live with this pain anymore”.

A gout attack of pain usually strikes unexpectedly, but generally subsides in just a few days with treatment. However, some guys can experience pain for a number of weeks with gout attacks often re-occurring and minus the correct management the attacks of pain could become more frequent and will be very debilitating indeed.

You should contact your doctor if really severe pain in a joint recurs or lasts lots of days, especially if the pain is associated with chills or fever. Now let’s have a closer look at gout, what it is and what causes it and much more importantly, how we might help the gout patient with some good natural medicine suggestions.

Gout is arthritis

Gout is regarded as a kind of rheumatism and is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. You can find different types of arthritis such as for example osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” arthritis of the larger joints like hips, knees, back, etc. Then there’s rheumatoid arthritis that is the inflammatory (heat) arthritis affecting small joints generally just like the writs, fingers, etc.

And then there’s gout, what I call the “red-blooded male’s arthritis”. I can remember reading a book awhile ago about the era of the large ocean going vessels like the Endeavour during the golden age of discovery. Many officers on board such vessels suffered terribly from gout. Mind you, these were the commanding men who drank plenty of rum and ate a lot of beef with lashings of gravy.

Just what exactly has changed? Blokes still like to command, drink rum and coke or cold beer, and eat hot steaks and what red-blooded guy doesn’t? I have never seen a committed vegetarian suffering with gout, and very much doubt they even exist in this country.

Signs and Symptoms of Gout

Recurrent, acute attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, inflammation and swelling around the smaller joints – especially the joint of the big toe. Why the big toe you ask? Good sense – because it may be the joint at the cheapest point of the body, the area where deposits of the crystals and other wastes tend to form due to gravity. If you are right-handed, the proper big toe joint will be more likely affected than you left, and vice versa.

This is due to you step off and lead with your right foot as you walk, and is could have therefore a slightly better circulation of nutrients (and for that reason also a bit more deposition of wastes) than your left foot. Reflexologists often talk about “crystals” forming around the toe joints, and you may feel “crunching” sensations if you prod firmly under your toes or wiggle the toe joints sometimes.

The patient can also feel a significant sharp and rather intense pain in a small joint, specially the toe or wrist. The affected joint could be red, hot, swollen and even throbbing. It may feel “on fire”. As previously mentioned, the pain could be so unbearable that a good bed sheet could cause excrutiating pain.

Gout statistics

Gout afflicts approximately around 0.5% of the population of the western world.
Over 95% of gout sufferers are men aged 30 or higher.
Gout is twenty times much more likely in males than women.
Gout is strongly connected with being overweight and having raised blood pressure.
Gout may also occur in women, more commonly after menopause.

Maori (New Zealand indigenous peoples) and Pacific Islander peoples specifically tend to have high uric acid levels and so are predisposed to gout, especially the Maori patients I see who love abalone, mussels, roe (fish eggs like caviar) and crayfish (like lobster). I would expect that indigenous American or African peoples would similarly be affected by gout, particulary when they reside in the developed Western countries and eat foods saturated in purines.

The type of individual most commonly affected by gout is an overweight man who drinks large amounts of alcohol, is a regular meat-eater, loves rich foods and and also require high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

What causes an acute gout attack?

Certain medications, such as for example some types of diuretics, can cause gout. Aspirin and niacin (Vitamin B3) can also raise uric acid levels.

Certain diseases can lead to an excessive production of the crystals in the body, including some leukaemias, lymphomas plus some haemoglobin (blood) disorders.

Some studies have indicated an elevated prevalence of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) in people with gout.

Dehydration (alcohol & caffeine dehydrates).

Injury to a joint.

Excessive intake of purine-containing foods (see list below).

Heavy alcohol intake.

Recent surgery (this can be related to changes in the body fluid balance because of fasting before surgery).

النقرس Family history – hereditary.

What is Uric acid?

Approximately 70% of gout patients have an overproduction of uric acid, the remaining 30% of gout patients have a poor elimination of uric acid, therefore it makes sense to eat fewer foods which help to produce uric acid, and improve uric acid elimination through the kidneys.

Uric acid is really a by-product of the breakdown of certain foods in the body, and gout was once considered to be closely related merely to diet. It really is now understood that inheriting an issue with uric acid excretion from the body is probably the most common reasons for gout that occurs. Improving a person’s kidney function as much as possible has helped many gout sufferers I’ve seen over the years.

Uric acid may be the end product of the metabolism of chemicals called purine which are within many foods. Purines may also be found naturally in your body, and normally, the body disposes of excess uric acid via the urine, however in people with gout the crystals accumulates in the body. This can be due to reduced excretion of uric acid by the kidneys or even to overproduction of uric acid by the body. This accumulation of the crystals may also cause kidney stones, also it doesn’t have a rocket scientist to work out that you need to enhance the kidney work as much as is possible to help the patient overcome gout.

Gout can be extremely painful indeed

How come gout hurts, where does all that pain come from? Simple, when the uric acid accumulate in the blood and tissues it could crystallise out into a joint, forming a multitude of tiny, jagged, needle-shaped crystals. This triggers a rigorous inflammatory response that causes an agonizing arthritis attack called a gout attack. Have you ever stood on a pin or a needle, perhaps some broken glass and got annoyed and irritated by this? You then will know how a gout sufferer will feel – they may be most irritated and annoyed like a child who has just stood on a pin cushion.

Pain has a method of bringing out the worst in many people! WHEN I mentioned, gout commonly strikes the big toe, but other joints can be affected, including the instep, ankle, knee, wrist, elbow and fingers. Acute agony is generally the initial symptom and the affected joint becomes inflamed (almost infected-looking): red, swollen, hot and extremely sensitive to the touch.

I have many times seen a case of gout in the clinic that the patient’s doctor referred to as “osteoarthritis”, when in fact it had all the makings of gout. Signs or symptoms for instance a needle-like pain affecting the small joint, male patient who enjoys alcohol drinker, crayfish and roe (fish eggs), enjoys barbeques and steaks, etc. Common things happen to people commonly, I’ve often said.

The funny thing with guys is, you see them once you then don’t tend to see them again in the clinic. I believe that it is purely the pain that brings them ultimately to see the practitioner. This is especially so for a few larger blokes I’ve seen where the pain had not been helped to a big degree by the standard gout drugs, and then there’s much more of an urgency to that appointment.

I have often said that there is nothing more than a high degree of pain to create a man to your room as an individual. If you are a normal reader of my column, you might recall that I have often said that males belong to the “John Wayne School of Health”: “I’ll be alright, there is nothing wrong with me, and I’ll just get back on that horse and continue riding”. I can recall in a single Western that even John Wayne himself visited see a doctor once the pain of a fairly large shotgun blast in his shoulder was preventing him from actually getting on his horse, and also then your doctor’s visit seemed was under duress!

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