serum uric acid levels - Gout - Information and Resources About Gout Treatment
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Gout - Information and Resources About Gout Treatment

Gout is a painful and potentially disabling rheumatic disease and is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Gout accounts for approximately 5% of all cases of arthritis. Gout usually affects the first metatarsal phalangeal joint of the big toe (hallux) or the ankle joints. Gout most often affects the big toe but can also affect the ankle, knee, foot, hand, wrist and elbow. Approximately one million people in the United States suffer from attacks of gout. Gout is nine times more common in men than in women. It predominantly attacks males after puberty, with a peak age of 75. In women, gout attacks usually occur after menopause.


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Although denied by the medical profession for the last three decades, diet does influence your pain... Prior to the denial phase of medicine it was and in some circles still a known factor that certain foods and drinks trigger certain problems. For instance, Joint problems have been found to be exacerbated by the use of alcohol, liver and other organ meats. The most famous joint problem recognized is "Gout," even though the pharmaceutical companies have tried to convince the world this is not true, it certainly is and gout suffers who have had direct results of those foods will tell you... Chemicals concocted by the pharmaceutical industry does help with a few cases but the digestive system is suffering the affects as well as the liver and kidneys which have to filter out the foreign matter in the body! As we get older our digestive system does not work as fast nor as thorough as it needs to and therefore medications can create as many or more problems than they help!

Reduce your alcohol consumption, especially if you tend to binge drink or drink to excess. Alcohol is not a cause of gout, but it can negate all of your other efforts to prevent gout disease from acting up. Alcohol will dehydrate your body and it causes uric acid to form. Therefore, it not only builds your uric acid levels, but it discourages your body from eliminating that uric acid. So it is best to avoid alcohol altogether when you are working to prevent gout disease.

Beneficial Dietary Supplements: * Bromelain reduces inflammation in joints and improves digestion of proteins when taken with meals, * Vitamin B Complex aids digestion and supports the body's enzyme systems.

If you have hyperuricemia, you are at a higher risk for gout disease. Hyperuricemia means that you already have high uric acid levels in your blood. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe medications to help control that condition. By keeping hyperuricemia under control, you can also help to slow the onset of gout and prevent gout disease occurrences.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins, "There's no denying that there is a strong connection between what you eat and how you feel, and the difference is likely to become more and more apparent the older you get." (Johns Hopkins Health 2000, www.intelihealth.org)

Although not common, gout disease can occur in those younger than 30 years old; usually as a result of an enzyme problem or kidney disease. However, when not a result of another problem in the body - for example, when gout is simply hereditary in your family - there are steps you can take to prevent the early onset of gout.

Sometimes, even if a person lives a healthy lifestyle, abstains from alcohol or drinks it modestly, they can experience a condition that mirrors gout, but is in actuality, a different arthritic condition altogether known as pseudogout. To help you understand the differences between these two, the following is a breakdown of the causes, symptoms and treatments for each condition.

A build up of uric acid that develops into gout can result from:

Gout disease is most common in people between the ages of 30 and 50 years of age. The reason for this is that it takes a build up of about twenty years to cause a first gout attack. Uric acid levels will usually begin to increase at least that far ahead of the onset of gout. However, this does not rule out gout in people younger than 30 years old. Therefore, just because you're under 30, it doesn't mean that you can't develop gout.

* EVENING SNACK: A fruit with one graham cracker square, one low-fat cookie, or a half cup of sorbet or low-fat frozen yogurt. Combining a healthful diet and stress reduction, pain can all but be eliminated in most instances...

* AFTERNOON SNACK: One fruit or raw vegetable; one serving of bread; a glass of low-fat milk or a cup of low-fat yogurt. * DINNER: A four-ounce serving of protein, such as fish, tofu, chicken, beans, turkey or beef; one carbohydrate, such as a baked potato, rice, bread or pasta; one cup of steamed vegetables (avoid starches like peas or corn); a fresh salad with low-fat dressing.

A Diet to Promote Joint Comfort From Johns Hopkins Health 2000 * BREAKFAST: One piece or serving of fresh fruit; one slice of bread or bowl of cereal; one protein, such as an egg or a cup of yogurt.

Gout Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs suddenly, usually affecting the big toe, and causes severe painful attacks, tenderness and redness in the affected joint. An attack can last days or weeks. Gout is caused by a build up of uric acid which turns into uric acid crystals that are deposited into the joints causing them to become inflamed. The first attack of gout often occurs late at night.

Doctors also targeted allergies or intolerance for dairy products, preservatives found in a wide variety of foods and drugs along with members of the nightshade family as possible culprits for joint problems. In addition, eating or drinking anything tainted with Salmonella or other bacteria has been shown to provoke the immune system to attack the joints, a condition known as "Reiter's syndrome."

Gout Symptoms The most common gout symptom is sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling in some joints. It usually affects one joint at a time, especially the joint of the big toe, but can also affect the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist and elbow. Deposits of uric acid, called tophi, can appear as lumps under the skin around the joints and at the rim of the ear. In addition, uric acid crystals can also collect in the kidneys and cause kidney stones.

 
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* LUNCH: A fresh salad with vegetable, such as mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, celery and low-fat dressing; a four-ounce serving of protein, such as fish, chicken, turkey, tofu or beans; one bread serving; a piece of fruit.

Your next step is maintaining a healthy body weight. If you are overweight - especially if you are obese - it is important for you to speak to your doctor about losing weight gradually and in a healthy way so you achieve a healthy body mass and maintain it. Though being overweight doesn't directly cause gout, it can put you at higher risk of having attacks. However, take care not to lose weight too quickly as crash dieting can actually increase uric acid levels and lead to a gout attack.

* Vitamin C with Bioflavinoids lowers serum uric acid levels.

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Diagnosis A definitive diagnosis of gout is from light microscopy of fluid aspirated from the joints (this test may be difficult to perform) to demonstrate intracellular monosodium urate crystals in synovial fluid polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The urate crystal is identified by strong negative birefringence under polarised microscopy and its needle-like morphology. A trained observer does better in distinguishing them from other crystals.

Alcohol and certain foods can trigger a gout attack. Events such as strokes, heart attacks or surgery may also cause gout. Gout is strongly associated with obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. Because of genetic factors, gout tends to run in some families. A variety of treatments can help you manage your gout. Traditionally treatment for acute gout has consisted of colchicine , which can be effective if given early in the attack. Gout often is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (e.g., Anaprox, Naprosyn) and indomethacin (e.g., Indocin), usually for 3-7 days.

The first step is to make sure that you are always adequately hydrated. Of course, this is a good piece of advice for your health regardless of gout, but it is especially important when you are trying to prevent the condition. This is because hydration is the primary step for helping to flush uric acid from your body. The buildup of uric acid on the joints is the primary cause of gout and therefore the main goal of gout prevention is to stop that from happening.

The Johns Hopkins researchers say that you should experiment with different foods to ascertain which ones will help you and which ones will cause you pain. With over 100 different kinds of bone/joint problems classified under the heading of "arthritis" it is easy to understand why experimenting with different foods must be left up to you. Also as explained by the Johns Hopkins papers, "The more pressure and weight on your joints, the more they will hurt. Even and extra 10 pounds stresses the joints." A desirable reason to lose weight of plagued with joint/bone problems!

Stunning breakthroughs in medical research demonstrate that you can literally feed your aching bones and joints exactly what they need to move more freely and with less discomfort. Taking certain nutrients to eliminate discomfort, rebuilding deteriorating join structures, and restore freedom of movement is rapidly moving into mainstream medical consciousness. Long overdue but still not fast enough... In fact the doctors at Johns Hopkins have developed a "bone/joint diet? That they believe can help alleviate the burden of stiff, inflamed joints. (Diet to follow)

To prevent future attacks, your doctor can prescribe a medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in your blood. Changing the way you eat can help you conduct your gout. Eat a healthy mix of foods so you get the nutrients you need. Limit foods like meat, fish, and beer. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.Life style changes such as limiting alcohol consumption, and limiting meals with meats and fish rich in purines can also be helpful in controlling gout. Weight loss may be very important this condition. You should also avoid certain animal proteins, such as: seafood; liver; kidney; heart; gizzard; sweetbreads; meat extracts; and gravy.

Even if you are already at a healthy body weight, you should examine your diet and make healthy dietary changes to include optimum nutritional choices, and low quantities of foods that are both high in purines and in proteins. These foods, such as meat, fish, and beer, are the primary causes of increased levels of uric acid in the body and should therefore be avoided.


By taking these basic healthy precautions, you will be able to minimize the impact gout has on your life, and delay its onset for several years.


 
 
     
 
 





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