- Gout is a form of arthritis.
- Caused by urate crystals in joints.
- Consumption of food and drink such a steak, seafood, alcohol, and sugary drinks can promote the forming of urate crystals.
- Symptoms are often related to slight to severe pain in the joints.
- To treat cases of Gout, adjust diet immediately. Gout can also be treated with medication if symptoms continue.
Gout is a very painful condition that can limit your range of motion and your ability to care for yourself. This is a form of arthritis that affects the joints, primarily the joint at the base of the big toe. It comes on suddenly, often waking you in the middle of the night.
While gout must be taken seriously and will likely require medical care, it’s a condition that can be treated. There are several things to think about if you receive a gout diagnosis. One of these is how you will care for yourself because of the way the condition affects your ability to do things for yourself.
What Causes Gout?
Gout is caused by a buildup of urate crystals in the joints. This causes the symptoms that alert you to an issue. Urate crystals are the result of a high level of uric acid in the bloodstream. The uric acid is a byproduct of the body breaking down purines.
For most people, uric acid will dissolve in the blood and leave the body in their urine. When any part of this process is disturbed, the uric acid will begin to accumulate in the joints of the body. The crystals are needle-like, which irritates the structures in the joint.
What Are the Symptoms of Gout?
The primary symptom of gout is intense pain that feels almost like fire in the affected joint. This is often the joint that’s at the base of the big toe, and there’s usually swelling on the side of the big toe. It might be hot and red.
Many people report that the affected area is so tender that any pressure on it is intolerable. This makes it difficult to impossible to put on socks, cover the foot with a sheet, or put on shoes. Because of this, you might have to remain in your home while the pain and swelling go down.
While the pain of gout usually comes on suddenly, it takes considerable time for it to abate. The most intense pain is typically 4 to 12 hours after the start of the attack. As time progresses, the area will remain painful. It can take up to a few weeks for the attack to fully subside.
Gout is a condition that will often return. Each attack might be worse than the previous one. It may cause more intense pain, last a longer period of time, and affect more joints. Besides the big toe, the ankles, elbows, wrists, knees, and fingers are commonly affected by gout.
What Are the Treatments for Gout?
Anyone who’s showing signs of gout should seek medical care immediately. Gout that’s left untreated can lead to permanent joint damage. The pain can also become more intense. There’s also a chance that the joint may become infected, so seeking care is critical if the joint is red, swollen, and hot.
Doctors may prescribe certain medications to help control the symptoms of gout and minimize the damage it does to your body. Corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and colchicine are often chosen to help patients who have gout.
It’s also possible that doctors will prescribe drugs that help to remove the uric acid from the body or ones that block the production of uric acid. These can help to prevent future gout attacks.
Can Gout Be Prevented?
It’s sometimes possible to prevent gout attacks and in some cases, reduce the severity of them. Eating a healthy diet that keeps the level of uric acid minimal, maintaining healthy body weight, and ensuring your medical conditions are treated can all help reduce the chances you’ll get gout. Staying hydrated can also help prevent gout, but you should drink non-sugary beverages to accomplish this.
There are some factors that increase the chance of gout that you can’t control. For example, being a male is a risk factor. Men most commonly suffer their first gout attack between the ages of 30 and 50, but it may come on later in life. Women will typically suffer from gout after going through menopause.
A family history of gout and having to take certain medications, such as low-dose aspirin therapy, thiazide diuretics, and anti-rejection drugs, all increase the risk of developing gout. Gout is also caused by having to have surgery on a joint or having trauma to the joint.
Residents of Riddle Village Can Count on Us
Riddle Village is here to help residents who are suffering from the symptoms of gout. The personal care we offer our residents includes having the chef here prepare foods that people suffering from gout can eat to help manage this condition.
Being able to count on the chef to cook healthy meals for them can help residents who have gout focus on trying to feel better. These meals can be delivered right to their door, so they don’t have to worry about how their limited mobility is going to impact their ability to get nutritious meals.
Residents of Riddle Village can also help prevent future gout attacks by taking advantage of the activities we offer. Getting to a healthy weight and exercising can help to improve the way the body functions, which may reduce the chance of gout occurring in the future.
If you’re interested in learning how Riddle Village can help you enjoy your golden years, contact us today for more information about our services. Call us at 610-891-3700 to discuss how we can meet your needs.