Gout, one of the more painful types of arthritis, is characterized by high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). This condition leads to the excessive accumulation of uric acid crystals on the joints, tendons and surrounding tissues, resulting in painful arthritis attacks. These crystals can also form masses, called ‘tophi’, on the joints. It has been observed that about 90 per cent of the gout patients are men and the most commonly affected part is the great toe. But it can also affect joints, like fingers, elbows, ankles, heel, instep, knees, wrists, or the spine. A gout attack is accompanied with stiffness and inflammation of the joint, redness, sudden pain, with or without mild fever. The condition may disappear without treatment and may not recur for quite a long time during the initial stages. But repeated attacks, over a long time, can affect the mobility of the patient.
Gout is caused by the regular intake of food items with high purine content or, owing to the body’s inability to eliminate uric acid. It can likewise be an inherited abnormality. Some cases of gout develop due to medical conditions, like metabolic syndrome, leukemia, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, renal failure and hemolytic anemia. The treatment for gout is for reducing the level of uric acid in the blood, preventing gout attacks, providing relief for the symptoms and preventing complications like kidney stones, formation of tophi and joint destruction.
Most gout cases are treated successfully, but if the patient has other medical conditions, or he isn’t complying to the treatment plan, it is hard to cure the condition. Medications are administered to bring down the serum uric acid apart from alleviating pain and other related symptoms. As far as prevention of gout is concerned, the contributory factors are studied carefully and relevant medications are prescribed along with lifestyle changes. These include dietary changes too.
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The main goal of dietary changes is to reduce the rate of uric acid. This is brought by the breakdown of purines. Purines are found naturally in the body tissues and are also given to the body through certain foods. Patients who’ve adopted a gout treatment diet have been successful in reducing the symptoms of the illness according to some studies. The most important aspect of this diet is the exclusion or reduction of foods that can cause gout as they’re high in purine. They are meat, seafood, protein-rich foods and sweet drinks. Foods which have very high purine content, like meat, liver, kidney, brain and sweetbreads, should be avoided.
Some types of seafood like anchovies, sardines, mussels, herring and mackerel also have high levels of purine. The intake of protein-rich food items, like meat products, egg, fish, beans, and poultry, should be limited. This loss can be compensated by including tofu and dairy products in your diet. Alcohol and sweetened sodas, which hamper the body’s ability to flush out uric acid, shouldn’t be consumed, but drink lots of water to assist the body in getting rid of uric acid through urine. Avoid brewers yeast (in beer) and baker’s yeast (used in baked products), refined and junk food, caffeine, and sugar. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, controlling obesity and timely food consumption, are also advised.
Home remedies for gout arthritis
Gout is a disease which can be readily controlled by adhering to the treatment plan, including lifestyle changes, the medication, and a proper gout treatment diet. There are also many natural gout remedies. These can provide relief from the symptoms. Gout home treatment includes the intake of bananas, sweet or sour cherries, vegetable juice mixture (carrot, beetroot and cucumber), apple cider vinegar with honey, garlic, lime, and apple juice with water. Proper exercises can also provide some relief to gout patients. But you have to seek advice from a qualified fitness trainer regarding exercises. These are best suited for your condition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be utilized as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your doctor is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.
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