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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I need help I have Just got gout in my big toe and the pain was bad
any advise would help
Anonymous
Anonymous 19 Aug 2013
Hi John,
Thank you for your post! We are so happy to hear your found the website so helpful for your gout. We wish you all the best with your recovery from your recent attack. Please do contact the Blackmores naturopaths if we can help you further on 1800 803 760, Warm regards, Gina (Blackmores naturopath)

Gina
Gina 18 Jul 2013
I am currently 70 years young. I first experienced GOUT at age 24 due to change of diet from Boarding School type to normal. Continued to have attacks overy 2 to 3 years. Early 30's was on regular medication, I think ZYLOPRIM. Very rare attacks during 40's to 50. Ceased medication mid 1970. One attack 2005, whilat living in Thailand for 15 years, not sure why. One attack February 2012, in hospital recovering from heart attack. One attack June 25th, 2013, due to tomato soups and sardines in diet for 3 days, had forgotten their propensity to cause an attack. Medication for 4 days, then OK. Latest attack, today, 18th July, 2013. Due to asparagus soup. Did ot realise asparagus could cause attack, THANKS to your very informative website, I an a little older and wiser once again. Hopefully with current medication of COLCHINE will be back to normal in 2 to 3 days.
Hope this mini history is helpful ? John Hampton
Anonymous
Anonymous 18 Jul 2013
Hi Adam,

I am sorry to hear that you have suffered gout for so long. It is great that you include celery, cherries and adequate water in your diet.
Although gout may be exacerbated with foods that contain a high purine amount, it specifically occurs when uric acid builds up in the bloodstream and deposits urate crystals in the joint. The build-up of uric acid is most commonly caused by under-excretion of uric acid by the kidneys, but may also be caused by the overproduction of uric acid by the body. Some people have higher levels of uric acid in their bloodstream when compared to other individuals. This condition is called hyperuricaemia and can be hereditary.
Fruits and vegetables aid the body’s elimination of uric acid. This is especially true of strawberries, blueberries and cherries.

I would suggest to see a naturopath in consultation who will be able to review your symptoms and medical history and then come up with an individualized treatment plan for you.

This are an organisation who have GP’s trained in nutritional and environmental medicine.
http://www.acnem.org/modules/mastop_publish/?tac=23

The following websites provide naturopathic practitioner details sorted in areas.
http://www.anta.com.au
http://www.atms.com.au
http://www.acnem.org
www.naturaltherapypages.com.au

Please contact the naturopaths at Blackmores on 1800 803 760 from Australia, so we can help you further. All the best to you, Gina (a Blackmores naturopath).

Gina
Gina 03 Jul 2013
I am 35 yrs old i have suffered from gout from the age of 18
I have tried all avenues of treatment suggested in all of these posts here , the gout is constant to the point of almost permanent.
I get it in my feet, ankles, knees, elbow's & wrist's.
Medical treatments and natural seem to fail.
I don't Drink alcohol , i don't smoke , i have tried for years to eliminate what foods cause it but continue to suffer
One can't survive on celery , cerries & water
there has to be foods i can eat any ideas please
Anonymous
Anonymous 01 Jul 2013
Dear Arahi,
Sorry to hear about your gout. That’s great you found movement helped release the pain and inflammation. Yes in some individuals this might be part of their treatment strategy, while others may need to rest with various cold or hot packs applied to the area. I hope you have also found the above information on the Blackmores website helpful on gout. For your information, cherries in all forms may have a positive influence on gout. You can find tinned cherries in your supermarket. As little as 250 grams of cherries per day may help lower uric acid levels and support gout health. You may also like to consider celery. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more info. All the best Gina (Blackmores Naturopath)


Gina
Gina 20 Jun 2013
Is there currently a way to break drown these crystals prementy.? Without surgery? Because it really sucks...
Anonymous
Anonymous 19 Jun 2013
I had gout about a year ago it crippled me for a week. I couldn't sleep due to pain. I was so over it I went to work fencing, hobbled around the whole day, but by the time I got home.. I was walking reasonably well, the next day it heeled.. my mates who lived with me were shocked it heeled that fast, does working through the pain help to heel it, I think the more you work the gout infested leg the faster it heels.
Anonymous
Anonymous 03 Jun 2013