How to Treat Gout
Gout, a type of arthritis, usually causes pain in the feet. There are about a million gout sufferers in the United States. Here are some ideas on how to treat gout and help to lower your chance of a full gout attack.
When there is too much uric acid in the body, you can get Gout. Uric acid is made from purines or waste that the body dissolves. The uric acid breaks down, travels to the kidneys, and exits the body through the urine. If the body is making more uric acid than it can dispose of through the kidneys, then the uric acid accumulates in the blood. This uric acid accumulation causes gout. In gout the high uric acid levels crystallize and are deposited in the tissues and joints. The painful gout attacks can occur very suddenly. Usually gout forms in a single joint, such as the big toe. It can, however, form in multiple joints and can affect any joint such as the elbow, wrists, and fingers.
Gout is caused by heredity, alcoholism, obesity, and eating foods that are high in purines, such as meat, seafood, and organ meats. There are medications that you can take to lower swelling and pain in the affected joint. If gout is not treated, the attacks usually last 5-10 days. If you continue to have gout attacks, it will cause permanent joint damage.
To treat gout, you should first see your doctor to get his advice and some medication to control your gout symptoms. Don’t drink alcohol excessively. Maintain your weight at a normal level according to your height. Don’t go on a crash diet, as this will cause the body’s uric acid levels to increase. Lose weight slowly and naturally.
You need to drink ten to twelve glasses of water or other non-alcoholic beverage daily. Water is the best for you to drink as it flushes out the excess uric acid helping your kidneys to get rid of it.
When you see your doctor, ask him to perform a simple gout test on you. The test involves removing or aspirating a small amount of fluid from the afflicted area. A blood test can also be done to look at the level of uric acid in your system.
When you are having a gout attack, rest the painful part of your body, elevating it. Don’t walk if the affected joint is your toe or knee. Put an ice pack or cold wrap on the inflamed area. Never put the ice directly on the skin. Wrap your ice bag in a towel. Keep blankets or clothes away from the affected area of the body. Any excess pressure can cause a debilitating pain.