Gout is one particular conditions which is often aided considerably with a change in lifestyle, and is a form of arthritis which is normally associated with “high living”. This condition causes a rather painful accumulation of crystals of the crystals around the joint. I have seen many gout patients over time, and I think I’ve seen a couple of a women through the years in my clinic complaining of this rather painful condition.

I can still remember the initial gout patient I ever saw, I was practicing in the student clinic in the 90’s. A male aged mid forties came in complaining of an extremely painful right ankle and big toe. He was a mechanic who enjoyed a beer, in fact he said: “Eric, I’ll do whatever you suggest, I will not be stopping my beer however, but I cannot live with this pain anymore”.

A gout attack of pain usually strikes unexpectedly, but generally subsides in just a few days with treatment. However, some guys can experience pain for a number of weeks with gout attacks often re-occurring and without the correct management the attacks of pain may become more frequent and can be very debilitating indeed.

You should contact your doctor if really severe pain in a joint recurs or lasts lots of days, particularly if the pain is accompanied by chills or fever. Now let’s have a closer look at gout, what it really is and what causes it and more importantly, how we might help the gout patient with the right natural medicine suggestions.

Gout is arthritis

Gout is regarded as a form of rheumatism and is one of the painful forms of arthritis. There are different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” arthritis of the bigger joints like hips, knees, back, etc. Then there is rheumatoid arthritis which is the inflammatory (heat) arthritis affecting the smaller joints generally just like the writs, fingers, etc.

And then there is gout, what I call the “red-blooded male’s arthritis”. I could remember reading a book awhile ago about the era of the large ocean going vessels like the Endeavour through the golden age of discovery. Many officers on board such vessels suffered terribly from gout.

Mind you, these were the commanding men who drank a lot of rum and ate a lot of beef with lashings of gravy. So what has changed? Blokes still prefer to command, drink rum and coke or cold beer, and eat hot steaks and what red-blooded guy doesn’t? I’ve never seen a committed vegetarian suffering with gout, and very much doubt they even exist in this country.

Signs or symptoms of Gout

Recurrent, acute attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, inflammation and swelling around the smaller joints – especially the joint of the big toe. Why the big toe you ask? Good sense – because it may be the joint at the cheapest point of the body, the region where deposits of uric acid and other wastes have a tendency to form due to gravity. For anyone who is right-handed, the proper big toe joint could be more likely affected than you left, and vice versa.

It is because you step off and lead together with your right foot as you walk, and is will have therefore a slightly better circulation of nutrients (and therefore also a bit more deposition of wastes) than your left foot. Reflexologists often discuss “crystals” forming round the toe joints, and you may feel “crunching” sensations if you prod firmly under your toes or wiggle the toe joints at times.

The patient may also feel a significant sharp and rather intense pain in a small joint, particularly the toe or wrist. The affected joint can be red, hot, swollen and also throbbing. It could feel “burning”. As earlier mentioned, the pain could be so unbearable that a good bed sheet could cause excrutiating pain.

Gout statistics

Gout afflicts approximately around 0.5% of the populace of the western world.

Over 95% of gout sufferers are men aged 30 or over.

Gout is twenty times more likely in males than women.

Gout is strongly associated with being overweight and having raised blood pressure.

Gout can also occur in women, additionally after menopause.

Maori (New Zealand indigenous peoples) and Pacific Islander peoples specifically tend to have high uric acid levels and so are predisposed to gout, especially the Maori patients I see who love abalone, mussels, roe (fish eggs like caviar) and crayfish (like lobster). I’d expect that indigenous American or African peoples would similarly be affected by gout, particulary when they live in the developed Western countries and eat foods saturated in purines.

The type of individual mostly affected by gout can be an overweight man who drinks large amounts of alcohol, is a regular meat-eater, loves rich foods and who may have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

What can cause an acute gout attack?

Certain medications, such as for example some types of diuretics, could cause gout. Aspirin and niacin (Vitamin B3) can also raise uric acid levels.

Certain diseases can result in an excessive production of the crystals within the body, including some leukaemias, lymphomas and some haemoglobin (blood) disorders.

Some studies have indicated an elevated prevalence of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) in people with gout.

Dehydration (alcohol & caffeine dehydrates).

Injury to a joint.

السيلوليت Excessive intake of purine-containing foods (see list below).

Heavy alcohol intake.

Recent surgery (this may be related to changes in the torso fluid balance due to fasting before surgery).

Family history – hereditary.

What is Uric acid?

Approximately 70% of gout patients have an overproduction of the crystals, the remaining 30% of gout patients have a poor elimination of uric acid, therefore it makes sense to consume fewer foods which help to produce uric acid, and improve the crystals elimination by way of the kidneys.

Uric acid is really a by-product of the break down of certain foods in your body, and gout was once considered to be closely related merely to diet. It is now understood that inheriting an issue with the crystals excretion from the body is probably one of the common reasons for gout that occurs. Improving a person’s kidney work as much as you possibly can has helped many gout sufferers I’ve seen over the years.

Uric acid may be the end product of the metabolism of chemicals called purine which are found in many foods. Purines are also found naturally in your body, and normally, the body gets rid of excess the crystals via the urine, but in people with gout the crystals accumulates in the body.

This can be because of reduced excretion of the crystals by the kidneys or to overproduction of uric acid by the body. This accumulation of the crystals may also cause kidney stones, also it doesn’t have a rocket scientist to work out that you need to enhance the kidney work as much as is possible to greatly help the patient overcome gout.

Gout can be quite painful indeed

How come gout hurts, where does all that pain come from? Simple, when the the crystals accumulate in the blood and tissues it could crystallise out right into a joint, forming a multitude of tiny, jagged, needle-shaped crystals. This triggers a rigorous inflammatory response that causes a painful arthritis attack called a gout attack.

Maybe you have stood on a pin or perhaps a needle, perhaps some broken glass and got annoyed and irritated by this? Then you will understand how a gout sufferer will feel – they may be most irritated and annoyed such as a child who has just stood on a pin cushion. Pain includes a way of offering the worst in lots of people! WHEN I mentioned, gout commonly strikes the big toe, but other joints can be affected, like the instep, ankle, knee, wrist, elbow and fingers.

Acute pain is generally the initial symptom and then the affected joint becomes inflamed (almost infected-looking): red, swollen, hot and intensely sensitive to the touch. I have many times seen a case of gout in the clinic that the patient’s doctor known as “osteoarthritis”, when actually it had all the makings of gout. Signs and symptoms for instance a needle-like pain affecting the small joint, male patient who enjoys alcohol drinker, crayfish and roe (fish eggs), enjoys barbeques and steaks, etc. Common things eventually people commonly, I have often said.

The funny thing with guys is, you see them once you then don’t have a tendency to see them again in the clinic. I really believe that it’s purely the pain that brings them ultimately to see the practitioner. This is especially so for some larger blokes I’ve seen where the pain had not been helped to a large degree by the typical gout drugs, and then there is a lot more of an urgency compared to that appointment.

I have often said that there surely is nothing more than a high degree of pain to bring a man to your room as a patient. If you are a regular reader of my column, you may recall that I have often said that males participate in the “John Wayne School of Health”: “I’ll be alright, there’s nothing wrong with me, and I’ll just get back on that horse and continue riding”.

I can recall in a single Western that even John Wayne himself visited see a doctor once the pain of a rather large shotgun blast in his shoulder was preventing him from actually getting on his horse, and even then the doctor’s visit seemed was under duress!

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