what is gout and what can we do about it?

what is GOUT?

Gout is a common and complicated form of arthritis and has the unique distinction of being one of the most prevalent medical illnesses throughout the whole history. Gout develops when blood uric acid levels are abnormally high(this condition is called hyperuricemia). Gout is painful and may even cause disability in some form(As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally).
Gout occurs often in men, simply because women tend to have lower uric acid levels. After menopause, however, women’s uric acid levels approach those of men. Men are also more likely to develop gout earlier — usually between the ages of 30 and 50 — whereas women generally develop signs and symptoms after menopause. Experiencing recent surgery or trauma has been associated with an increased risk of developing a gout attack.
It is sometimes referred to as “disease of kings” because people in the past generations thought it is linked to the overindulgence in food and wine only the rich and powerful could afford but we later on understood that gout can affect anyone and its risk factors vary.
you must not mistake Gout with Pseudogout. some people may be suffering from pseudogout which Unlike gout is not associated with hyperuricemia at all. Pseudogout is caused by calcium phosphate crystals and produces symptoms similar to gout.
Gout normally affects the large joint of your big toe but it can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins. After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.

what is Urate crystal?

Urate crystals are crystals of uric acid that form and collect in the joints(often in the feet and big toes) and cause painful inflammation.
this crystals can rub against the soft lining of the joint called the synovium, causing a lot of pain swelling and inflammation. this situation is called an attack or flare of gout.

what is tophi?

Urate crystals may also accumulate outside of the joints and go under the skin and form small, firm lumps called tophi. the white colour of the urate crystals under the skin is sometimes visible. The most common areas for tophi are over the top of the toes, back of the heel, front of the knee, backs of the fingers and wrists,around the elbow and the ears.
Tophi aren’t usually painful, but they can get in the way of normal daily activities. They can sometimes become inflamed, break down and leak urate crystals fluid. Tophi can even grow within your joints and cause damage to your cartilage and bone. This can lead to more regular, daily pain when you use the affected joints.
Some may experience gout signs and symptoms once. Others may experience gout multiple times each year. Medications may help prevent gout attacks in people with recurrent gout. If left untreated, gout can cause erosion and destruction of a joint.
Gout treatment aims for a uric acid level of 6 mg/ dL or lower to dissolve or prevent crystals.
Dietary changes alone will not get rid of gout, but they may help prevent flare-ups. It is also important to note that not everyone who gets gout eats a high-purine diet.Other factors, such as genetic susceptibility, also play a role.
symptoms of gout are Joint pain or soreness, Swelling and pain in a joints such as ankle or knee, or red skin around a joint, Joints that are hot to the touch, Swelling and pain that affects only 1 joint in the body and Skin that looks shiny and is red or purple.
An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable.
Urate crystals may collect in the urinary tract of people with gout, causing kidney stones. Medications can help reduce the risk of kidney stones. experts estimate that among people who have gout, nearly one eighth of them report having had kidney stones sometime in their life. high uric acid levels(hyperuricemia) are the main cause for gout but not all of it. more than 21% of the general population has hyperuricemia while only just 4% has gout.
There are two types of medicine for gout. For control of acute attacks of joint pain, there are NSAIDs, colchicine and corticosteroids. After gout flares have resolved, there are medications that can lower the level of uric acid over time in order to prevent or lessen attacks.

Uric Acid Can Collect In Your Body For Many Reasons Such As Diet, Genetics, Taking Certain Diuretics (Like Furosemide (Lasix) And Hydrochlorothiazide Which Sometimes Are Called Water Pills), Aspirin Or Immune-Suppressing Drugs, Obesity Or Being Overweight, Alcohol, High Intake Of Niacin(Vitamin B-3), Stress And Hypothyroidism.
Many Health Professionals Recommend Treating Hyperuricemia Through Diet, Lifestyle Changes Or Medication.
Huge Weight Loss(Especially Because Fasting) Can Also Cause Hyperuricemia. You Should Focus On Making Long Term Sustainable Changes To Manage Your Weight Like Becoming More Active, Eating A Balanced Diet And Choosing Nutrient-Dense Foods, Not Only To Prevent Hyperuricemia, But Prevent Other Health Side Effect Of Weight Loss As Well.
Drinking Alcohol Can Dehydrate You And Cause Hyperuricemia. This Happens Because Kidneys Must First Filter Products That Exist In The Blood Due To Alcohol Instead Of Uric Acid And Other Wastes. Besides, Some Types Of Alcoholic Drinks Such As Beer Are Also High In Purines.

how to treat GOUT naturally?

 drink more water: Water Aids In Digestion And Decreases Uric Acid Concentrations In The Blood.

 get to a healthy weight: obesity has lots of downsides, one is high uric acid, lose some fat but avoid crash diets.

 eat a healthy and balanced diet: ask your doctor or dietitian to give you a list of foods to include or limit

 include more fibre: Fibre Will Help Body Get Rid Of Uric Acid. Fibre Can Also Balance Your Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels. It Also Tends To Increase Satiety And Help Lower The Risk Of Overeating. A Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet May Lower Overall Levels Of Inflammation And Reduce The Risk Of Developing Other Types Of Arthritis.

 take vitamin c:Vitamin C(Or Ascorbic Acid) Reduces Levels Of Uric Acid In The Blood Based On Some Research.

 exercise: exercise regularly but avoid intense exercise or putting lots of pressure on joints

 stop smoking