Either people who experience gout produce too much uric acid or their kidneys are not excreting enough uric acid. Uric acid is a form of urate crystals, which get deposited into the tissues, causing inflammation in and around the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, which affects the whole body but mostly the joints. Diagnosis of gout can be confirmed clinically with synovial fluid analysis, x-rays and blood tests.
Gout does not have to keep you from doing the things that you love to do. With the proper management, you can continue to maintain your current lifestyle. The main goals of treatment are to ease the pain and avoid any future attacks as well as any possible long term complications, such as joint destruction. A well-balanced management plan includes a change in any medications that are being taken, if necessary:
- Create an action plan in case of an attack to know what to do
- Taking prescribed medication or natural treatments as indicated
- Avoiding certain high purine foods, including meats, seafood and certain vegetables
- Losing weight will lower the levels of the uric acid in the blood
- Visit the doctor regularly
- Drink lots of water and fruit juices and stay away from alcoholic beverages
Management between gout attacks includes decreasing the amount of urate crystals deposited into the tissues, thus decreasing the number of gout attacks and their severity.
Gout attacks can last from a few days to several weeks for those who do not receive any treatment Joint pain usually begins during the night due to lower body temperatures when sleeping. The time span between gout attacks will vary and may initially be as long as a few years. As gout attacks progress, the intervals between each attack will get shorter. Pain medications including heat therapy; exercise; orthopedic and athletic shoes, which provide good arch support; joint sprints, which may lower arthritic symptoms and inflammation; and good nutrition, are all supportive treatments for arthritis. Exercise performed in warm water help because the heat decreases the muscle spasms and stiffness. Once acute attacks have subsided, levels of uric acid are generally lowered through lifestyle changes. Allopurinol and prdoenecid provide long-term prevention for those with frequent attacks.
Hyperuricemia is the underlying cause of gout, which can occur due to diet, genetic predisposition or under excretion of urate, the salts of uric acid. Gout frequently occurs in combination with other medical problems. Obesity is a major factor. If the body mass is equal or greater than thirty five per cent, the risk of getting gout increases three times. Treatment of gout attacks to improve the symptoms includes use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, which are manufactured or synthetic steroid hormones. Both of these drugs fight inflammation.
As long as the symptoms of gout and arthritis are managed properly, lifestyle changes and medications will lower the uric acid levels. Make effective choices such as lowering the intake of certain foods, including meat, seafood and certain vegetables, while consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding obesity. Coffee consumption is associated with lowering the risk of gout.