Can you tell me about gout?
If you’ve ever woken up with an excruciating pain in your big toe, followed by swelling and redness so intense it looks like a cartoon character’s disembodied limb, chances are high that you’ve experienced the joys of gout. And if you haven’t, well buckle up folks because we’re about to take a deep dive into this hilarious (not really) form of arthritis.
What is gout?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s establish exactly what gout is. In short, it’s kind of like having the worst hangover of your life but without all the fun memories from the night before. But medically speaking, gout is actually a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by excess uric acid crystals forming in your joints (feel free to impress your friends at parties with that little tidbit). It most commonly affects men over 40 and postmenopausal women who eat rich foods and/or indulge heavily in adult beverages (so basically everyone then).
Now let’s talk symptoms – none which include hallucinations or spontaneous dancing as previously mentioned. Signs that indicate one may be experiencing an attack include:
- Sudden onset pain (particularly located; although can occur elsewhere)
- Joint warmth
Of course other joint related problems could present themselves here so it’s always important to have proper diagnosis or evaluation for any medical condition suspect.
It’s not quite fair to say that “rich eating” causes gout since eating healthily doesn’t automatically negate someone’s risk for developing said ailment yet diets high purines do carry associated increased risk (purines contributing naturally occurring chemical compounds found within some foods/drinks) Purine digestion leads to uric acid formation within our bodies.) So basically, if you enjoy a good steak or alcohol (or even kombucha), your chances of developing gout skyrocket.
How is gout Diagnosed?
Ah, the age-old question: how can I tell this isn’t just regular old foot pain? While there’s no one definitive test for diagnosing gout, there are several methods doctors use to determine what’s causing that terrible pain in your toe, including:
- Joint fluid sampling
- Testing the blood for uric acid levels
- Imaging tests like x-rays
If you do get slapped with a diagnosis of gout, rest assured there are treatments available (though none so far involving feng-shui manifesting). These include:
Doctors might prescribe medication which may ease symptoms and attacks, lower or maintain healthy uric acid level produciton. Allopurinol commonly prescribed drug to both prevent and/or treat some more substantial cases.
Your doctor will also likely suggest making certain lifestyle changes – like reducing meat intake along with limiting their alcoholic beverages consumption as well as drinking at least from 2 litres of water daily!
Of course the best way to deal with this amusingly-named arthritis it by preventing it altogether through treading lightly around purine-rich foods such as seafood or organ meats either minimizing intake entirely or having “off days” during week, definitely take stock into eating a healthier balanced diet since getting fruits and vegetable can help reduce risk factors accordingly upping hydration levels via excessive H20 consumption! Limiting treatment/medications taken may also suppress likelihood of further complications downline.
Holistic ways vs traditional medicine advancements
Gone are the days where natural remedies were sneered upon when dealing with medical emergencies; greater Western minded public have come around integrative approaches in conjunction with recommended medicines typically used within typical medical contexts.
It is important to not solely rely upon natural treatments but rather treat them as supplementary options. Examples include:
- Vitamin C supplements/preferred food sources (ex: sweet potatoes, red peppers)
- Turmeric root/ginger tea
While gout itself might not pose a particularly dire threat to your health over the long term, it can lead to some further alarming discoveries amongst patients with this condition. Several studies involving populations dealing with severe and prolonged cases show that people could have higher risk factors such as;
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease or decline
Those are definitely situations you want to avoid being in; picking up healthy habits and daily routines will always assist in reducing chances of developing gout or other medical issues for a fact.
So there you have it folks — everything you never knew until meandering along this piece on everybody’s favourite inflammatory arthritis (whether they wanted too or not!). It may be causing pain equivalent to what would happen if you wore high heels through an airport from Amish country all the way to Vegas (ouch), yet through proper diagnosis and treatment + even lifestyle prevention measures ahead of time can ultimately help one feel like they’re at home bare-footed smiling!