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Bout With Gout

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12 March 2020, By Marc Woodard

The most common signs of gout are sudden (acute) redness and inflammation around joints with intense pain. Most often people’s bout with gout occurs at the first joint attacked, with arthritis like symptoms at the big toe. Once gout forms, due to the nature of inflammatory properties it can spread throughout the body (medically referred to as poly-articular gout).

Patients initial symptoms include – an intense throbbing pain, whereas the big toe and/or foot is reddened and swollen beyond belief. These signs and symptoms may occur infrequently, then become chronic if not treated by a medical doctor.

Gout in foot

Gout and Arthritic-Like Conditions – Although there is much similarity in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the difference is RA afflicts up to several joints at a time, where gout usually impacts one joint at a time and typically starts in the feet.

Once gout sets in it can be so painful one can hardly bare to stand, walk or have a bed sheet touch the toe. A chronic gout situation can also occur within other joints of the body, i.e., ankles, knees, fingers, hands, elbows and wrists… whereas – Tophi – “Uric acid crystallization” spreads to other part of the body.

Ten Foods to Avoid to Decrease Gout Risk

Purines are a part of our biology and introduced into the body through diet. The by-product of Purines is uric acid. Purines are part of human tissue. A diet high in Purines are known to increase gout risk. Those high Purine-Rich foods are:

Alchohol is high in purines; Certain fish: herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines, codfish, trout, and haddock and anchovies [Salmon is a low purine alternative]; Wild Game; especially rabbit, venison, quail, pheasant, and goose – Tip, white meats [turkey, chicken] rarely cause gout attack; Sea foods: avoid scallops – Tip, Low purine sea foods are lobster, shrimp, salmon, and crab (6-8oz). Organ Meats; tongue, liver, brains, kidney, heart and sweetbreads, etc. Beer; wine in moderation is allowable. Sugar Drinks; avoid all foods with high-fructose corn syrup. It’s best to stay with natural fruit juices. Certain vegetables; plant foods like dried fava and garbanzo beans are high in purines, also: cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, peas, spinach, and cauliflower.  Certain Fruits: pears, dates, lychees, prunes, plums, cherries, and pears – it is suggested if eaten in moderation, may not cause a gout attack. But if they do, avoid consuming them. High-Fat Dairy Products; Those with gout should avoid consuming too much ice cream and milk. Various studies suggest contradictory evidence – whereas the following dairy products may decrease gout risk: cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream [consume in moderation].

Ten Most Common Symptoms of Gout

Diets with high purines and protein have long have been suspected of causing gout. Uric acid crystals can be transported by blood circulation and deposited within targeted joints that breach the bursa sacs throughout the body. Bursa sacs are our fluid protective cushions around body joints that protect joint tissues. They can become breached by elevated uric acid levels that form crystals within certain joints of the body. Gout can lead to a chronic bursitis [swollen bursa sacs]. A condition where surgery may be required. Gout is considered one of the most painful forms of Rheumatic conditions and afflicts an estimated 840 out of 100,000 people in this US. Gout accounts for approximately 5% of all cases of arthritis.

Pain in big toe – whereas uric crystals form in joint; and make it incredibly sore to walk on; Tenderness – after chronic toe pain condition subsides, or prior to another gout episode; Swelling – to decrease swelling and inflammation and pain once gout symptom occurs, use cold compresses and see a doctor for medically prescribed drugs. Pain Attacks – sudden pain distant from the toe, often occurs simultaneously in the feet, or legs lower extremities. Felt mostly during standing or walking. Night Pain – Any pressure on big toe or foot, even a bed sheet can exasperate the pain condition once gout has set in. Redness – A red bloated skin condition on or near the gout site is a common. Kidney Stones – The build up of uric acid is also a cause of kidney stone formation which leads to very painful urination and bloody stream. Other secondary symptoms: low back and abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Tophi – Uric acid crystallization in other parts of body joints. Check for crystallization nodules to confirm on the ears, hands, ankles or elbows. Biopsy of the nodule can confirm a gout diagnosis. Fever – Gout can also cause nausea, fatigue and flue and fever-like symptoms. Peeling Skin – With swelling comes inflammation and damage to skin cells: itching, cracking, dry and bleeding skin surface.

It is highly recommended if you experience any of the signs or symptoms listed above, avoid high purine foods and seek medical treatment right away to keep your bout with gout at bay.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2020 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your free monthly newsletter.