Gout is a form of arthritis that can be caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood. But what foods causes gout?
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What is gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and swelling in joints. The most common joint affected is the big toe.
Gout occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the body. Uric acid is a waste product that is formed when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in many foods, including steak, organ meats, and seafood.
People who have gout often have a family history of the condition. Other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
What are the symptoms of gout?
One symptom of gout is a sudden, severe attack of pain, swelling, redness and warmth in a joint, often the big toe. An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The skin around the joint may be red and shiny.
The joint may be so swollen that you can’t even put a sock on your foot. The attack usually lasts for three to 10 days, but in some cases it takes weeks or even months for the symptoms to go away completely.
What causes gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints. The most common joint affected by gout is the big toe. Gout can also affect the foot, ankle, knee, hand, and elbow.
Gout occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product that is formed when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in all body tissues and are also produced when the body breaks down certain foods.
The most common food that increases uric acid levels is meat (especially organ meats), but other high-purine foods include anchovies, mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, beer, and wine. Gout can also be triggered by crash diets or fasting, as well as by certain medications (such as diuretics).
How can gout be prevented?
There are many ways that gout can be prevented. One way is to avoid eating foods that are high in purines. Some examples of these foods include organ meats, such as liver and kidney, as well as anchovies, herring, mackerel, grapes, and dried beans. Alcohol should also be avoided, especially beer. Another way to prevent gout is to maintain a healthy weight and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
How is gout treated?
Acute gout is treated with NSAIDs, corticosteroids, or colchicines. Probenecid or allopurinol may be used long term to help prevent gout attacks.
What are the complications of gout?
If left untreated, gout may lead to more serious health problems, such as joint damage, arthritis, and kidney stones. In fact, gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Gout affects approximately 4% of American adults. The condition is more common in men than women and is most likely to develop in people between the ages of 40 and 50.
There are several complications that can occur as a result of gout. If left untreated, gout may lead to more serious health problems, such as:
Joint damage: Repeated episodes of gout can cause permanent joint damage. This can lead to a condition called gouty arthritis, which causes the joints to become misshapen and deformed.
Arthritis: Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints. Gouty arthritis is a type of arthritis that specifically affects people with gout. It occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints, causing inflammation and pain.
Kidney stones: Kidney stones are small deposits of uric acid that form in the kidneys. People with gout are more likely to develop kidney stones than people without the condition.
What are the risk factors for gout?
There are a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of developing gout, including:
– Family history. If you have a family member who has gout, you’re more likely to develop the condition yourself.
– Age. Men are more likely than women to develop gout, and it most often occurs after age 30. Women are more likely to develop gout after menopause.
– Obesity. Excess weight puts extra pressure on your joints and raises the level of uric acid in your blood.
– Medical conditions. Gout is more common in people with high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease.
– Alcohol use. Drinking alcohol — especially beer — increases the level of uric acid in your blood and can trigger gout attacks.
– Medications. Taking certain medications — such as diuretics (water pills), low-dose aspirin or niacin — also can increase the level of uric acid in your blood and lead to gout attacks
What are the different types of gout?
There are three different types of gout, each with their own set of symptoms:
-Acute gout: This is the most common type of gout. It usually comes on suddenly, and the symptoms can be severe. They include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, as well as redness and warmth. Acute gout can last for a few days or weeks.
-Chronic gout: Chronic gout is less common than acute gout. It occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints over time. The symptoms are similar to those of acute gout, but they may be milder and come and go over time.
-Asymptomatic gout: This is the most rare type of gout. People with asymptomatic gout have high levels of uric acid in their blood, but they don’t experience any symptoms.
What are the home remedies for gout?
There are a number of home remedies that can be effective in treating gout. Some of the most popular home remedies include:
-Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice: Cherries are high in compounds called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown that eating cherries or drinking cherry juice can help reduce the symptoms of gout.
-Taking vitamin C supplements: Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation. Some studies have shown that taking vitamin C supplements can help reduce the symptoms of gout.
-Applying ice to the affected area: Ice can help reduce inflammation and pain. Some people find it helpful to apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
-Soaking in Epsom salt: Epsom salt is a type of magnesium sulfate, which is a mineral that has anti-inflammatory properties. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath can help reduce the symptoms of gout.
-Drinking plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation.
How can gout be cured?
There is no known cure for gout, but there are treatments that can help manage the condition. Gout can be controlled with medication, weight loss, and avoidance of certain foods.