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GOUT

It is a joint disorder in which uric acid crystals deposit in the joint space giving rise to severe pain swelling and redness of the joint. It is a kind of arthritis which can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe.

 

CAUSES

1. Hereditary or familial tendency. Chances of males being affected more.
2. Stress
3. Alcohol and dietary excess, esp. of food rich in proteins such ad red meat, liver, kidney, cheese, etc.
4. Kidney failure.
5. Hypertension.
6. Obesity. 80% of people with high triglycerides have gout.
7. Diabetes.
8. Thyroid disorder.
9. Drugs like diuretics.

Hyperuricemia is the underlying cause of gout. This can occur for a number of reasons, including diet, genetic predisposition, or under excretion of urate, the salts of uric acid. Renal under excretion of uric acid is the primary cause of hyperuricemia in about 90% of cases, while overproduction is the cause in less than 10%.

SYMPTOMS

Sudden onset of severe joint pain mainly affecting great t but may affect any other joint.
1. Joint swelling.
2. Redness.
3. Tenderness.
4. Heat of joint.

It occurs unexpectedly and can be very severe but the symptoms normally do not last for more than a week. Chronic suffers may find tiny, hard lumps accumulating over the soft flesh of hands feet or ear lobes.
The uric acid deposits may affect the kidney forming stones.

DO'S AND DON'TS

1. If you have a family history of gout, decrease intake of alcohol, fats, meat.
2. Prefer a largely vegetarian diet with plenty of salads. Avoid red meat, coffee, alcohol, cheese, sugar, liver, kidney, animal fat, sweetbread, yeast, spinach, dried beans.
3. Foods that suppress the symptoms of gout are cereals, fruits (except bananas, custard apple, pear & pomegranate), green leafy vegetables, cherries, strawberries.
4. Eat white meat like chicken instead of red meat.
5. Drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices to wash off the uric acid in urine and to flush the kidney of the crystals. Stop alcohol.
6. During acute pain keep the affected joint uncovered as covering increases the discomfort of a swollen sensitive joint. Cold compress will help to relieve pain. You can rest the gouty foot in a cardboard box during sleep as pressure of a sheet or blanket can increase the pain. If overweight, exercise to reduce weight.


CONSULT THE DOCTOR

If the acute attack has subsided and even if there are no symptoms.

Get yourself checkup and evaluated if you are getting repeated attacks.

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