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A Complete Guide for Gout – Signs, Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

What Is Gout

What is Gout?

Gout is a rheumatic inflammatory condition that displays similar to arthritis. It is caused by a disease called hyperuricemia, which is a build-up of uric acid in the blood. This increase in uric acid can make small, sharp crystals form within joints, especially in the foot and this can cause redness, swelling, and incredibly painful joints, commonly in the big toe joint. It can, however, can affect other joints.

Is There More Than One Type of Gout?

There are five different types of gout. These are sometimes referred to as the stages of gout as they can vary in severity each time a flare occurs. These types of stages are:

  1. Acute Gout
  2. Interval/Intercritical Gout
  3. Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia
  4. Pseudogout
  5. Chronic Tophaceous Gout

What Are the Causes of Gout?

Causes of Gout
There can be many lifestyle factors that contribute to the causes of gout and the severity of an attack. These can include:

  • If you are dehydrated: There have been studies to understand and link why staying hydrated may reduce gout prevalence and symptoms of gout. It is shown that drinking plenty of water may reduce the concentration of uric acid circulating in the blood, which may, in turn, lessen the symptoms of gout.
  • If you injure a particular joint: Although studies have not shown any definitive direct correlations[1] between a gout attack and a direct injury, there may be some common sense advice relating to the exacerbation of an already affected joint and a direct injury, which could potentially make the gout flare appear worse.
  • Excessive alcohol: Alcohol consumption has been shown as a strong factor in the occurrence of gout attacks, and the severity of the symptoms of gout flare-ups – irrespective of the type of alcohol consumed. Historically, wine was thought to be the accelerant but is now believed to be any alcohol type.
  • Meals with a sizeable fatty content: A diet that contains a large proportion of fat is a massive contributor to the occurrence and the severity of the symptoms of gout as it can increase the build-up of uric acid within the blood and cause a flare-up.
  • If you are sick and have a high temperature: A high body temperature has been shown to increase the chances[2] of causing a gout attack. It can be related to the person suffering from gout having a high temperature during illness or associated with external temperature and climate.

What Are the Main Signs and Symptoms of Gout?

Symptoms of Gout
If you are concerned that you may have the diseases or have some prominent symptoms of gout, there are specific manifestations to look out for that may indicate you have gout before you need to contact your General Practitioner for management. These can include:

  • Red Skin over the affected area– When gout is present, there may be some visible redness around the affected areas as the swelling causes pressure on the skin – inflammation being one of the causes of gout.
  • Localized swelling over the affected area – If you have gout, you might experience anywhere from light to extreme swelling around the affected area. This could be due to the body trying to fight gout, producing swelling as a mechanism of protection to the joint.
  • Skin that is hot to touch in the affected area– An infection may be likely to produce hot skin around the site of gout. This can be hot to the touch and uncomfortable for the patient. Hence, a hot or burning sensation one of the most common symptoms of gout.
  • Intense pain in the affected area– Gout is likely to cause intense pain in the affected area that can either start as a dull pain, grow into constant pain, or cause sudden and severe pain in the affected area. With this, you are going to need immediate gout pain relief.
  • Visible bulbous swelling in the affected area – With gout, you may find that the affected area can create a bulbous swelling, almost like a deformation of the surrounding joint around the affected joint area.
  • You may have a high temperature – If the gout attack is severe, you may experience a high temperature as your body attempts to fight the infection. This may need immediate gout pain relief and treatment for a high temperature if it cannot be controlled by things you can do at home.

What Is the Treatment for Gout?

Treatment for Gout

Many different treatments are given for gout, and medical practitioners can advise lifestyle changes to reduce the occurrence and the severity of the symptoms of gout.

The primary treatment for gout that doctors can prescribe as a clinical intervention are Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen. NSAIDs are prescribed to combat the swelling and inflammation within the joints that are affected, which may, in turn, reduce all of the other signs and symptoms that gout may cause.

There may also be an individualized treatment for gout and some lifestyle changes that a medical professional advises to reduce the occurrence, severity, and causes. These include:

  • A low-fat diet[3]
  • A reduction in alcohol consumption
  • A reduction in the intake of sugar in your diet
  • Increasing water intake
  • Reducing meat consumption in favor of plant-based proteins
  • Increasing gentle exercise to assist circulation and healing

Frequently Asked Questions About Gout

Gout can affect certain areas within the foot, but it is unlikely to affect the foot as a whole. The main areas that gout can affect are:

  • Big Toe
  • Heel
  • Ankle
  • Instep
whole foot

It is located within the affected joints and with the associated signs and symptoms of gout that occur as a result of the inflammation within the joints. Although gout is primarily found in the foot, usually the big toe joint, you can also find it in any joints in the body.

Gout occurs as a result of a uric acid buildup in the blood. This buildup can cause tiny, sharp crystals of monosodium urate to form within the joints, causing inflammation, pain, swelling, and reduce mobility. Gout will only be diagnosed when the evidence of these crystals within the affected joints are found, then proper treatment for gout will be planned.

Gout can happen for several reasons, including the ones already mentioned here. The other factors that can influence the occurrence and the other causes of gout are:

  • Weight - People who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing gout as the body produces more uric acid the heavier you are.
  • Medications - Certain medications can increase the occurrence and worsen the symptoms of gout, including those on hypertension medication, beta-blockers of those people who have had a recent transplant and need medication to reduce the risk of rejection of their new organs.
  • Family Medical History - Gout may be hereditary, meaning that if you have a family member with gout, you are more likely to develop it too.
  • Diet -If you have a diet that includes lots of alcohol, red meat, and high-fat foods, you are at an increased risk of developing the disease. Diet modification can be a good treatment for gout.
  • Existing Medical Conditions - Some existing medical conditions may increase the risk of developing diseases, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Gout can affect any joint but is more prevalent in the foot, specifically in the joint of the big toe. This may require you to be familiar with the ways on how to get rid of gout pain fast should the symptoms occur in other joints.

Gout is more common in males as they naturally produce more uric acid than females do. The production of uric acid also increases in line with age. Men should be familiar with how to get rid of gout pain fast to find instant relief.

How long does gout last can be anything from 3-14 days in length. This is dependent on whether the attack is treated sufficiently and the overall condition of the patient. If you get medical treatment for gout, it is likely to last between 5 and 7 days, but if left untreated, the symptoms can last for 14 days, causing severe pain and swelling and reducing the mobility of the affected joint.

What Can I Do to Get Immediate Gout Pain Relief?

If you have gout already diagnosed, or you believe you are having a gout attack, there are many things you can do to get immediate gout pain relief. These include:

  • Elevating the affected area – If you are having a flare-up of gout, you can immediately elevate your foot on a stool, which will improve circulation and reduce swelling to the affected area.
  • Using anti-inflammatory medications – With any gout, anti-inflammatories are the best treatment for gout to reduce pain and swelling in the affected area. Always use this medication according to the instruction on the pack or as advised by a general practitioner.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids – Drinking plenty of clear fluids when a gout attack happens can help to disperse the uric acid build-up in the blood and create a flushing effect, which could help reduce the symptoms of gout.
  • Avoiding alcohol – Avoiding alcohol during a gout flare is particularly important. There is a direct correlation between alcohol and the exacerbation of gout, so the best practice is to avoid it altogether.
  • Ice treatment – An ice pack may be a way on how to get rid of gout pain fast, including swelling when a gout attack comes, but do not place ice directly onto the affected area without creating a barrier between that area and the ice.

    Wrap the ice block (or frozen vegetables) in a tea towel or towel and rest gently on the affected area for 10-30 minutes, depending on the severity of the swelling and pain. This method should give immediate gout pain relief.

  • Relaxation – Rest is a very underrated technique on how to get rid of gout pain fast. Still, it is crucial to make sure that you stay calm and stay off your affected area.

Conclusion

It is well understood that gout is an incredibly painful and uncomfortable disease. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the blood that then causes small and sharp crystals to form within the joints, primarily of the foot, but they can form anywhere in the body. The uric acid buildup is one of the primary causes of gout.

Gout can cause swelling and pain in the joints and the surrounding areas, causing discomfort, lack of movement, and swelling.

From this, we have seen that there are things you can do to lessen your chances of having a severe gout attack and find immediate gout pain relief, such as reducing the fat content of your meals, reducing your alcohol consumption, and making sure you stay well hydrated.

When you do have a gout attack, there are ways on how to get rid of gout pain fast, such as elevation, ice treatments for swelling, and making sure to use anti-inflammatory medications as directed by your health provider.

We have also seen how certain existing conditions such as diabetes and heart conditions can make gout attacks that little bit worse. This exacerbation of gout can also be affected if you take any regular medication for certain conditions, such as beta-blockers or anti-rejection medication following an organ transplant.

The best thing that is advised to reduce occurrences and severity of gout attacks and on how to get rid of gout pain fast are lifestyle changes. Health professionals will recommend that you make changes to your diet by reducing the amount of red meat you eat, introducing more fruit and vegetables, and reducing the amount of fat you consume.

Proper management such as losing excess weight, reducing alcohol intake, and increasing the amount of water you drink can help diminish the symptoms of gout, or at least reduce the severity of an attack when it happens.

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