Gout is a complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone with unexpected suddenness. It is characterized by abrupt sharp attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in the joint located at the base of the big toe. It surprises people in the middle of the night, with a terrible sensation that your big toe has caught on fire. The joint that is affected is swollen, hot, and incredibly tender to even the lightest weight. Symptoms include intense joint pain that can occur in your feet, ankles, hands, wrists, and knees. Pain is the worst within the initial four to twelve hours from the time it begins. After the worst pain begins to subside, joint discomfort may linger anywhere from a few days to weeks. Attacks that happen later will likely last even longer and affect more joints around the initial affected one. You may notice that the affected joint or joints are tender, red and swollen, and feel warm. As gout worsens, joint mobility will possibly decrease.
What does treatment look like
Medication is the best treatment for gout. The medications that you receive will be provided by your doctor after they examine your unique case of gout and better understand your current health and own preferences. Medication can be used to treat and prevent future attacks, and also prevent further complications caused by gout which can include developing tophi from urate crystal deposits.
Your doctor may also prescribe a regimen of physical therapy to keep your body moving and blood circulating. Whatever condition you have, exercise will help prolong your mobility, and your body’s ability to combat an existing condition. Keeping your body energized and exercised will help it continue to support you in the long run.
How to Prevent it
Although it is not entirely possible to prevent gout, there are several ways you can help protect yourself against future gout attacks.
- Keep your fluid intake high: always be sure to keep your body well hydrated, which includes drinking plenty of water, and putting a limit on sweetened drinks. Watch out for drinks that have a high level of high fructose corn syrup.
- Maintain a healthy body weight: be sure to create a lifestyle that will help you maintain a healthy body weight. This can include losing weight in a natural, healthy way. Avoid fasting or quick weight loss, which may raise uric levels that will worsen gout conditions. By simply having a diet made up of natural, unprocessed foods and having a good exercise routine you will be able to take good care of your body and its weight.
Limit your intake of meat: Gout can be worsened by the intake of meats such as beef, fish, and poultry. Pay attention to what types and amounts worsen your symptoms. It is important to become highly attuned to your body’s needs to know how to take care of it in your diet.
Limit or avoid alcohol: Talk with your doctor to see if alcohol consumption is safe for you. Recent studies have shown that some types of alcohol, especially beer increase the risk of gout symptoms.
Consequences of not treating it
It is vital to speak to your doctor about any gout symptoms you may be experiencing, not doing so can result in pain that gets severely worse over time, and may end up in losing the ability to use your foot.