Treatment Of Gout Pain

Suggestions to prevent gout attacks and treatment of gout related pain, such as avoiding foods high in nucleic acid and eating cherries.

Gout is a form of arthritis that usually affects the toe joints. It most often occurs in middle-age, overweight men who consume large amounts of meat, eggs and other foods high in nucleic acid. Men are more prone to gout than women. Women may be protected from gout by the female hormone estrogen. Men start building uric acid levels in puberty. However, uric acid does not start accumulating in women until after menopause. The painful bouts of gout are caused by too much uric acid (a waste product of the kidneys), which forms crystals in the joint fluid. Certain medicines may also cause gout, such as diuretics, niacin, low doses of aspirin, cyclosporine and some drugs used to treat cancer.

A gout attack usually occurs suddenly. It often starts at night in the big toe. The joint becomes red, feels hot and is painful. Some other joints may also be affected. Pain and swelling can last for several days. Frequent gout attacks over many years can lead to tophi, which are soft tissue swellings caused by uric acid crystals. Gout sufferers are also at risk for kidney disease or kidney stones.

In addition to visiting your doctor for treatment, the following suggestions will help you to prevent gout attacks and relieve the pain if you have them.

*Limit your intake of foods that stimulate the production of uric acid: fatty fish, anchovies, shellfish, meat and meat stock, eggs, and caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate).

*Limit your intake of these foods to no more than one serving a day: spinach, whole-grain cereals and breads, yeast, asparagus, dry beans, cauliflower, lentils, mushrooms, oatmeal, dry peas.

*Avoid alcohol, which increases uric acid production

*Drink five or six glasses of water a day, fluids help flush uric acid from the system

*Drink herb teas, rosehip and peppermint are good choices

*Take 1 gram of vitamin C a day

*Cherries have been found to relieve symptoms. Experts suspect that they contain an enzyme that helps break down and promote the excretion of uric acid. Eat a bowl of cherries the first day of an attack, and 6 to 8 cherries per day every day thereafter. The cherries can be fresh, canned or frozen.

*When attacks occur, apply an ice pack to the painful area. Hold on the area for 3 to 5 minutes, at regular intervals. Keep the affected joint elevated and at rest. Don't wear tight-fitting shoes.

*Avoid aspirin, it can make gout worse.

The following books are good resources for gout sufferers:

Gout, by Roy Porter

Gout: The Patrician Malady, by Roy Porter and George S. Rousseau

Getting Rid of Gout: A Guide to Management and Prevention, by Bryan Emmerson and Bruce Emmer.

Gout Haters Cookbook, Recipes Lower in Purines, by Jodi Schneiter

Gout, Hyperuricemi, and Other Crystal-Associated Arthropathies, by Charley J. Smyth, Editor and V. Michael Holers, Editor

You will always need to have your doctor check a gout attack. It can get inflamed and infected. You will need tests done regularly and you might need medication or a long term care.


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