Arthritis, joint, bone & muscle

Gout

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A form of arthritis characterised by intense pain in a single joint, often the big toe.

Affected areas

Most commonly affects the big toe, but may also occur in the knee, ankle, elbow and other joints

Symptoms

  • Pain in a joint, that appears very quickly
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Stiffness of the affected joint

Causes

Gout is a form of arthritis and is associated with high-blood-levels of uric acid, a compound that's a by-product of your body's normal breakdown of food. Uric acid itself is a product of the metabolism of purines, compounds found in a range of food.

Foods containing purines;

  • Offal (including related products like pate)
  • Game meat
  • Some seafood (especially anchovies and sardines)
  • Some vegetables including asparagus and mushrooms

Normally your body maintains uric acid levels by dissolving it in the bloodstream, filtering it through the kidneys and then urinating. If you start creating too much uric acid or other factors prevent your body dealing with the load, then uric acid crystals form on the joints. This is what causes the sudden pain, redness and swelling of gout.

Diet and lifestyle

It is advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible. This is important as gout can cause severe pain and permanent damage to the joints if left untreated. The dietary and lifestyle suggestions below are recommended as support measures but not as a replacement for medical treatment from a qualified medical practitioner.               

Lowering uric acid levels is a priority and changing your diet to reduce your intake of foods containing purines may help with this.

Important notes

Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition (CPPD) or Pseudogout is a similar condition to gout though its causes are unknown. It has been linked with a variety of causes including low magnesium levels in the blood, an over-active parathyroid gland, and excessive quantities of iron, as well as genetic factors.

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Hi Naomi

Generally gout can be aggravated by red meats such as beef as these contain purines. Devon is a highly processed meat generally made with either beef or pork and so may aggravate your condition. Best to stay away from processed deli meats especially during an acute episode.
Kind regards
Kath (a Blackmores Naturopath)
Kathleen
Kathleen 04 Feb 2014
Can processed cold meats such devon cause gout?
Anonymous
Anonymous 04 Feb 2014
I am sure that I am suffering from gout. Is there a product you can suggest that will relief the pain ?. I am self employed and on my feet all the time.
Anonymous
Anonymous 03 Feb 2014
Hello Glenda,
Thank you for your post.
I am sorry to hear you have ankle pain. There are a few options that you could look into, Celery seed being one this is a traditional remedy which is believed to aid the removal of waste products (such as uric acid) from the body via its mild diuretic action. Adequate water intake and reducing your alcohol intake may also reduce any fluid imbalances, along with raising your legs on a chair for 15 minutes after your shifts finishes, this way it will help circulate your blood back to your heart. You may like to try a natural plant-based topical medication containing comfrey root (symphytum officinale) as the active ingredient. It is an effective alternative treatment to the topical drug, diclofenac. Comfrey root is an age-old remedy, used topically for centuries, to naturally treat bruising, pulled muscles and ligaments and sprains.
I suggest consulting with a naturopath in private practice for a comprehensive assessment of diet and lifestyle modifications which may be relevant in your case.
Please call the Naturopathic Advisory service on 1800 803 760 if we can help you further.
Kind regards, Kellie (a Blackmores Naturopath)
Kellie
Kellie 31 Jan 2014
I was wondering if you could advise me what natural foods I can eat to relieve my symptoms of ankle pain. I am a housekeeper and on my feet for 6-7 hours per day and suffer extreme pain in my ankles. What medication, cream, can I buy to relieve this condition as well. Your feedback would be greatly received.
Anonymous
Anonymous 31 Jan 2014
Dear Mary,
I am sorry to hear about this sudden episode of gout you have experienced.
Changes to your diet can certainly help in reducing the amount of uric acid in the body and thereby modify the triggers that cause a flare up of symptoms.
Fruits and vegetables aid the body’s elimination of uric acid. This is especially true of strawberries, blueberries and cherries. As little as 250 grams of cherries per day may help lower uric acid levels and support gout health. A minimum daily intake of at least two litres of filtered water also helps to dilute uric acid.
Decrease purine containing foods (purine foods lead to formation of uric acid) such as shellfish, herring, organ meats (liver, brains, kidney etc.), red meat, asparagus, mushrooms, peanuts, meat gravies, and anchovies and sardines is also advised. He should also limit the intake of dried beans and peas and yeast products (as these are also sources of purines) and avoid alcohol.
Please call the Naturopathic Advisory service on 1800 803 760 if we can help you further.
Kind regards, Rebekah (a Blackmores naturopath
Rebekah
Rebekah 15 Jan 2014
I suddenly contracted gout in hands, shoulder and knees after a bout of flu. Am on aspirin, Lasix, Atorvastatin, Panamax,
Spiriva, Diprosone,Tritace, Zyloprim
What foods are beneficial to gout?
Anonymous
Anonymous 14 Jan 2014
Hi Robert, Phillippa, and Jorg,

Thank you for your posts regarding gout.

Robert, there are several natural remedies which are believed to assist in reducing uric acid levels in the body. One of these is celery seed. This is a traditional remedy which is believed to aid the removal of waste products (such as uric acid) from the body via its mild diuretic action. Consumption of fresh or canned cherries, ensuring adequate water intake and reducing alcohol intake may also reduce uric acid levels. I suggest consulting with a naturopath in private practice for a comprehensive assessment of diet and lifestyle modifications which may be relevant in your case.

Phillippa, I’m sorry to hear of the pain you are experiencing. Celery seed is a traditional remedy which may reduce the pain of gout attacks by reducing uric acid levels. Devil’s claw is another herb which has been traditionally used for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and may be useful for relieving pain associated with gout. Vitamin C is a nutrient which may assist pain by reducing uric acid concentrations and the incidence of gout attacks. Seeking advice from a naturopath or health care professional in private practice would be best to ascertain which remedy, nutrients and dosage would be most appropriate in your individual case.

Jorg, there is no guaranteed or quick way of eliminating gout however, lifestyle and dietary modifications can ease symptoms and reduct the likelihood of flare-ups. The information provided on this page contains many tips which I hope may assist your understanding about factors effecting this condition. One of the most effective dietary modifications for addressing gout is a significant reduction in alcohol intake. Alcohol increases blood uric acid levels and can trigger a gout attack. It is wise of you to consult with your health care professional for a diagnosis and to discuss the most appropriate ways to address your condition.

All the best, Leanne (a Blackmores naturopath)
Leanne
Leanne 02 Jan 2014