Gout is a general term for a variety of conditions caused by a buildup of uric acid. Generally, this buildup usually affects your feet.
If you have gout, you’ll probably feel swelling and pain in the joints of your foot, particularly your big toe. Sudden and intense pain or gout attacks, which can make it feel like your foot is on fire.
What are the symptoms?
During a gout attack, symptoms in the affected joint(s) may include:
- Intense pain.
- Tenderness, even to light touch, such as from a bedsheet.
- Warmth, or a feeling like the joint is “on fire.”
Some people have too much uric acid in their blood, but no symptoms. This is called asymptomatic gout.
For acute gout, symptoms come on quickly from the buildup of uric acid crystals in your joint and last for 3 to 10 days.
If you don’t treat gout, it can become chronic. Hard lumps called tophi can eventually develop in your joints and the skin and soft tissue surrounding them. Therefore, these deposits can permanently damage your joints. Immediate treatment is important to prevent gout from turning chronic.
Causes of gout
The buildup of uric acid in your blood from the breakdown of purines causes gout.
Certain conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders or dehydration, make your body produce too much uric acid.
You’re more likely to get gout if you:
- are a middle-aged man or postmenopausal woman
- have parents, siblings, or other family members with gout
- drink alcohol
- take medications such as diuretics and cyclosporine
- have a condition like high blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea
In some people with gout, diet is the cause. Find out which foods are especially high in gout-producing.
Diagnose of gout is based on a review of your medical history, a physical exam, and your symptoms. Such as your doctor will likely base your diagnosis on:
- your description of your joint pain
- how often you’ve experienced intense pain in your joint
- also how red or swollen the area is
Your doctor may also order a test to check for a buildup of uric acid in your joints. A sample of fluid taken from your joint can show whether it contains uric acid. The doctor may also want to take an X-ray of your joint.
In particular, if you have symptoms of gout, you can start with a visit to your primary care doctor.
What is the treatment?
If left untreated, it can eventually lead to arthritis. In short, this painful condition can leave your joint permanently damaged and swollen.
Generally, the treatment plan your doctor recommends will depend on the stage and severity of your problem.
Prescriptions to treat this condition work in one of two ways: They relieve pain and bring down inflammation, or they prevent future gout attacks by lowering uric acid levels.
Drugs to relieve pain include:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin (Bufferin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve)
- colchicine(Colcrys, Mitigare)
Drugs that prevent gout attacks include:
- xanthine oxidase inhibitors, such as allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim) and febuxostat (Uloric)
- probenecid (Probalan)
Along with medications, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of future gout attacks. For example, the doctor may encourage you to:
- reduce your alcohol intake
- for the most part, lose weight
- in particular quit smoking
Therefore medications and lifestyle changes aren’t the only way to manage this condition.
Food that triggers gout
Certain foods are naturally high in purines, which your body breaks down into uric acid. Most people don’t have a problem with high-purine foods. But if your body has trouble releasing excess uric acid, you may want to avoid certain foods and drinks, such as:
- red meats
- organ meats
- certain seafood
Sugar-sweetened beverages and foods containing sugar fructose can also be problematic, even though they don’t contain purines.
By the way some medications, you take to manage other conditions increase the level of uric acid in your blood. Discuss to your doctor if you take any of these drugs:
- diuretics, or water pills
- blood pressure-lowering medications, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin II receptor blockers
Your health may also be a factor in flare-ups. All of these conditions have been linked to this pain:
- diabetes or prediabetes
- joint injury
- congestive heart failure
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease
Herbal remedies for gout
Some gout-relief methods don’t come in a bottle from your pharmacy. Confirmation from studies suggests that these natural remedies may help lower uric acid levels and prevent attacks:
- tart cherries
- apple cider vinegar
- nettle tea
- also dandelion
- milk thistle seeds
But simply eating these foods may not be enough to stop your pain.
When gout surgeries are essential?
Gout can typically be treated without surgery. But after many years, this condition can damage the joints, tear the tendons, and cause infections in the skin over the joints.
Hard deposits, called tophi, can build up on your joints and in other places, like your ear. These lumps may be painful and swollen, and they can permanently damage your joints.
Three surgical procedures treat tophi:
- tophi removal surgery
- joint fusion surgery
- joint replacement surgery
Generally which one of these surgeries your doctor recommends depends on the extent of the damage, where the tophi are located, and your personal preferences.
Consequently, sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint which of these factors is behind your gout attacks.
Prevention of gout
Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent your pain:
- Limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Limit how much purine-rich food, such as shellfish, lamb, beef, pork, and organ meat, you eat.
- Eat a low-fat, nondairy diet that’s rich in vegetables.
- Lose weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Stay hydrated.
In particular, if you have medical conditions or take medications that raise the risk of your pain, ask your doctor how you can lower your risk of gout attacks.
Gout with tophus
When uric acid crystals build up in joints for a long time, they produce hard deposits called tophi under the skin. In short without treatment, these tophi can damage bone and cartilage and leave the joints permanently disfigured.
In conclusion, Tophi are swollen lumps around the joints that look like knots on a tree trunk. They occur in joints like the fingers, feet, and knees, as well as on the ears. Tophi themselves don’t hurt, but the inflammation they cause can be painful.
Sometimes tophi form in connective tissue outside the joints.
Essential oils for gout
Particularly essential oils are plant-based substances used in aromatherapy. Such as, some oils are thought to have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antibacterial effects.
Some of the essential oils used to treat the pain include:
- lemongrass oil
- celery seed oil
- yarrow oil extract
- olive leaf extract
- Chinese cinnamon
You can either breathe in these oils, rub the diluted oil on your skin, or make tea from the dried leaves of the plant. In particular, just don’t put the oils themselves into your mouth. Such as they’re not safe to ingest.
It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before you use any alternative therapy, even one that’s generally considered safe, like essential oils. Also, if you use these oils take precautions to make sure you don’t have an allergy to these oils.
Is gout hereditary?
Gout is at least partly due to heredity. Researchers have found dozens of genes that increase people’s susceptibility to gout, including SLC2A9 and ABCG2. Genes blended with this condition affect the amount of uric acid the body holds onto and releases.
Because of genetic factors, gout runs in families. For the most part, people with a parent, sibling, or other close relatives who have this condition are more likely to get this condition themselves.
It’s likely that genes only set the stage for gout. Environmental factors, such as diet, actually trigger the disease.
How alcohol is related to gout?
Alcohol, like red meat and seafood, is high in purines. When your body breaks down purines, the process releases uric acid.
Generally, more uric acid increases your risk of having gout. Alcohol can also reduce the rate at which your body removes uric acid.
Therefore not everyone who drinks will develop increased uric acid. But high consumption of alcohol (more than 12 drinks per week) can increase the risk — especially in men. Beer is more likely than liquor to influence the risk.
Compared to surveys, people have reported that drinking alcohol triggers their gout flare-ups.
Home remedies for gout
Turmeric and Caustic lime paste
Generally, to reduce knee pain turmeric and lime are more beneficial. Mix turmeric and lime in mustard oil and heat it for a while, then applying this paste in the knee reduces the pain of the knees.
Turmeric Milk Beneficial in Knee Pain
For the most part, mixing one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and drinking at least twice in the morning and evening provides relief in knee pain. In short, it is the most effective home remedy to relieve joint pain.
Also, ginger is helpful in relieving knee pain. Due to its warm nature, it is beneficial in cold pain. In brief, consuming ginger is beneficial in respiratory problems, cramps, and swelling.
In Knee pain, joint pain, bruising, swelling, wounds, and skin problems, aloe vera has benefited by tying the pulp with turmeric and heating it lightly. You can try this home remedy even if you have pain in the knees.
Generally, massage is beneficial in knee pain. Likewise, mustard oil is very useful in physical pain, knee pain, cold pain. Also, massaging the knees with mustard oil regularly relieves the pain of the knees quickly.
To begin with, clove is very useful in the pain of teeth and gums, knee pain and swelling, etc. So then, keep a cotton swab in clove powder or clove oil in a painful place.
Ashwagandha and Ginger Powder
Together with Ashwagandha and Ginger Powder are Beneficial in Knee Pain For this, take 40 grams Nagauri Ashwagandha powder, 20 grams dry ginger powder, and 40 grams (Khand ) Khand is a raw unrefined natural sweetener in powder form which contains all useful minerals that your body needs. Therefore, mix all three ingredients well. Consume this powder with 3 to 3 grams of this powder together with hot milk in the morning and evening provides great relief in knee pain, joint pain, and swelling. For the most part, this recipe is quite popular as a home remedy for arthritis many people use it as an Ayurvedic medicine for any type of pain.
Fennel Seed or Fenugreek seeds
Use of fenugreek to relieve the pain of the knees Fenugreek seeds affect the joints as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Such as, take half to one teaspoon powder of fenugreek seeds with lukewarm water after eating in the morning and evening. In particular, It provides relief from any pain.
In Ayurveda, there are many benefits of massaging with oil made from herbs, it lubricates joints, removes stiffness, relieves pain, and swelling. Such as, put 250 grams of mustard oil in a pan and keep it on the gas for heating. Peel 8-10 cloves of garlic in it. Also, one teaspoon of parsley in hot oil, add fenugreek seeds, dry ginger powder as well. When all the spices are cooked remove them from the gas and let them cool. When it cools down, put it in a glass bottle. In winter, massage the knees with this oil in the lukewarm sun in the morning or any joint pain there.
Generally, the best source of vitamin D is sun-generated sunlight, which gives you natural vitamin D which is more beneficial for bone. Therefore, arthritis patients should regularly walk in the sun for some time in the morning.
Exercising regularly is the most effective treatment for knee or joint pain. Exercise with the opinion of a physiotherapist or do regular yoga by learning from a yoga teacher.
As with any treatment you’re considering, consult with your doctor before following any medication — natural or otherwise.