What is Gout

More than 2.2 million Americans suffer with Gout.

Gout (or Hyperuricemia), is a form of arthritis caused by uric acid crystal deposits that accumulate in the joints. Most people will experience sharp pain and swelling in the lower joints (toes, ancles, knees). The effected area usually becomes red, swollen and extremely sensitive to the touch.

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Doctors consider Gout to be progressive and incurable. Most people who suffer with Gout slowly begin to accumulate uric acid crystals in the joints that form lumps under the skin (often referred to as “tophi”). Over time, gout attacks may occur more frequently, involve more joints, have more severe symptoms, and last longer. Long-term, this accumulation can have a devastating effects on the body leading to permanent joint damage and deformity.Uric acid comes from the natural breakdown of the genetic material contained within the food we eat. Some foods contain large amounts of purines, especially red meats and organ meats (such as liver and kidneys), as well as some shellfish and alcohol. Purines are broken down to uric acid in the body. Uric acid in normal amounts remains dissolved in the blood and easily passes through the kidneys. However, uric acid in high amounts makes a person more likely to develop.

The amount of uric acid in your blood can change depending on what you eat, your overall health, how much alcohol you drink and what medicines you are taking, as well as in response to a sudden illness.

Prevention Tips

  • If gout runs in the family, you should limit your intake of alcohol, fats, and foods that are more likely to increase uric acid level in the body.
  • Alcohol, especially beer, can quickly bring on an attack of gout.
  • You should watch their weight with extra care.
  • Blood and urine tests can be used to determine your uric acid levels and potential risk of a gout attack.
  • Medications can also help prevent gout attacks in people with multiple episodes. These medications usually focus on decreasing the production of uric acid in the body.

    “I just found out that I have Gout.  What are my options?”

    Diet is a significant contributor to the disease of Gout, as well as heredity.  Besides modifying your diet, there are natural supplements that have been shown to be very effective with controlling the symptoms, without the significant side effects often associated with taking prescription medications for Gout.

    “Who can develop gout?”

    If you eat a lot of foods that are rich in purines, you may be at an increased risk for gout. Some of these foods are salmon, sardines, organ meats, asparagus, mushrooms and herring.

    You are more likely to develop gout if you’re overweight, drink excessive amounts of alcohol or have high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure. Men develop gout more often than women. Women are more likely to develop gout after menopause. Gout also tends to run in families (is hereditary).

    Medicines that may cause gout include the following:

    • Certain diuretics (“water pills”) used to treat high blood pressure
    • Niacin (a B-complex vitamin)
    • Aspirin (taken in low doses)
    • Cyclosporine (brand names: Sandimmune, Neoral), which is used to prevent the body from rejecting a new organ after transplant surgery
    • Some drugs used to treat cancer
    • Pyrazinamide, which is used to treat tuberculosis

    “What should I do if I have a gout attack?”

    You should rest in bed during an attack of gout. Putting an ice pack on the joint may ease the pain. Keeping the weight of clothes or bedding off the joint can also help. Medicines that you can take without a prescription that reduce inflammation and pain may also help, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner the pain will go away. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to help stop the joint swelling and pain or you can save a significant amount of money by using one of the effective natural treatments listed in the products section of this article. With treatment, your gout attack should go away in a few days. While having a gout attack, you should also reduce the amount of animal protein you eat and avoid alcohol completely.

    However, if you don’t get treatment, a gout attack can last for days or even weeks. If you keep having more attacks, more joints may become affected, and the attacks will last longer.

    If you have gout attacks for many years, you may develop tophi (say “toe-fee”). These are uric acid crystals that form lumps under the skin. Tophi usually form on the toes, fingers, hands and elbows. You may also develop kidney disease or kidney stones from uric acid crystals that collect in the urinary tract. Over time, even the bone around a joint may be destroyed by gout.

    “What can I do to avoid gout attacks?”

    The right product can wash the uric acid from your joints, reduce swelling and decrease the amount of uric acid in your body.

    You should lose weight if you are overweight. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you should get treatment for these conditions and follow a low-salt, low-fat diet.

    Avoid alcohol and foods that are high in purines. Drink lots of water and other fluids, which can help flush uric acid from your body.

    “Is there a cure for Gout?”

    Gout is generally considered a progressive and incurable disease.  Yet there are many that suffered with an attack one time for a few weeks and did not see their Gout return for years.  On average, Gout symptoms and episodes of attacks do tend to be more frequent with advancing years.