Gout - The Disease Of Rich


This is the ‘kings’ disease’ as it affects the affluent. It is a type of arthritis that affects the toe, knee and other joints. Your kidneys lose their ability to flush out the excess amounts of uric acid, partially. This uric acid crystallizes and lodges in the joints, thus causing joint pain. This joint gets hot, swollen and tender. This pain usually starts in the middle of the night and can last for hours and days at a stretch. But it can vanish quite quickly.
 
Symptoms of gout
 
The most common gout symptoms are discomfort, sourness, swelling and intense pain of the affected area. In most patients with the disease, the first gout symptoms appear at the level of the big toe. The skin around the affected regions turns yellow, appears to be stretched and bruised. People who suffer from gout usually experience pain attacks that may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and in some cases, even days. In most cases, the pain attacks seem to amplify at night and many people with gout have trouble sleeping. The regions affected by gout become very sensitive and people with the disease can’t tolerate clothing or shoes.
 
Gout is mainly caused by the accumulation of uric acid (waste product that is collected and eliminated by the kidneys through urine) inside the body. The surplus of uric acid tends to crystallize and deposit in different parts of the body. One of the most disturbing gout symptoms is the inflammation of soft tissue. Sometimes, the crystallized uric acid forms tophi, painful lumps under the skin. Sometimes, tophi may even tare up the skin, causing infections.
 
Gout symptoms can be ameliorated by diet and lifestyle. Keeping a proper diet is a good way of handling the effects of the disease. In some cases, good diets are even more effective in overcoming gout than the actual treatment prescribed for the disease. The treatment of gout usually deals only with local inflammation and pain, and its effects are temporary. Pain episodes and inflammation are known to reoccur even under intense medication. A good diet, however, eases gout symptoms and also minimizes their chances of reappearing. Gout diets consist mainly of low-purine foods that don’t add to the amount of uric acid in the body. By drinking plenty of water you help the kidneys excrete the surplus of uric acid (around two liters of water each day are required).
 
Gout symptoms also tend to amplify in the case of people who are overweight. Obesity is known to facilitate the accumulation of uric acid inside the body. Also, overweight people that suffer from gout are more exposed to injuries of the joints. It is very important to try losing the extra weight when suffering from gout.
 
Smoking and the consumption of alcohol are considered to be factors that support and aggravate gout symptoms. Alcohol interferes with the normal renal activity, causing the kidneys to release less uric acid through urine, while smoking seriously damages arteries, affects blood circulation and slows down the process of healing.
 
Simple home remedies that can help prevent the gout infection:
 
  • Lose weight slowly: People suffering from gout are usually overweight with their body weight about 10 to 15 percent overweight. More your girth, higher your uric acid level. The higher incidence of the uric acid leads to frequent and intense gout attacks. But take care that you should lose weight slowly as crash diet leads to increase in uric acid levels.
  • Control the blood pressure: Gout patients who also suffer from hypertension need to be extra careful. This is because the blood pressure medications raise the levels of uric acid. Hence it is advisable to control the blood pressure naturally by lowering the intake of the sodium, exercising regularly, reducing the excess weight and eliminating stress.
  • Skip liver: Certain foods contain purine that raise uric acid levels. Though it is found in most foods, it is advisable to skip certain foods like red meat especially organ meats, liver, certain types of fish and some green leafy vegetables like spinach.
  • Stop the drink: If you are suffering from gout, avoid alcohol. This is because alcohol stimulates the production of uric acid. Beer is the main culprit as it has higher purine content than the other wines or spirits.
  • Go heavy on water: Drinking lots of water will help kidneys flush out the excess uric acid. Dehydration is also known to trigger gout attack. You can increase the urinary output by drinking at least five glasses of water a day.
  • Improve your sex life: It has been found that if you are a man, having frequent sexual activity reduces the levels of uric acid.
  • Take care of your feet: If you increase your big toe, you run the risk of gout attack. Wear shoes around the house and protect the feet from the daily accidents.


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Seema Dixit



Dr. S.S. Aggarwal


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