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 i am a 12 year old boy but i am experiencing a (now) 7 week long gout attack. what can i do. the doctor said its gout and has moved me to a foot specialist.is there anything i can do?
Anonymous
Anonymous 10 Jun 2014
Hi Diane
Thank you for your post. I’m sorry to hear of the pain and discomfort in your toe. Natural anti-inflammatories may be of assistance, such as Green Lipped muscle oil or Fish oil.
As well as reducing inflammation and managing pain, recent findings suggest that devil's claw may also be protective against cartilage degradation in the joints. Celery has also been found to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity, as well as significant diuretic properties.
Adding berries to the diet may assist. Cranberry juice or extract helps to increase the clearance of uric acid from the body. Researchers suggests drinking concentrated cherry juice may help to prevent flare-ups of gout. This is thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of this remedy.
If you would like specific advice and recommendations for your symptoms please call us here on 1800 803760 and speak with one of our qualified naturopaths. Kind regards Emma (Blackmores naturopath)
Emma
Emma 05 May 2014
i have a big toe that burns and swollen and cant move n in pain what will help it terrible its stopping me walking. Im 51 hardly drink and dont eat red meat very often not now anyway use to. please help
Anonymous
Anonymous 05 May 2014
Hi Richard
Check out the information above for further dietary advice and perhaps give our Advisory Service a call to speak directly with one of our naturopaths for a more specific individual recommendation for your symptoms. It is a free call on 1800 803 760 and we are available Monday to Friday 8.30 to 5.30 AEST
Look forward to hearing from you. Regards Kath (Blackmores Naturopath)
Kathleen
Kathleen 28 Apr 2014
I suffer with gout ...toes and knee with attacks occurring every couple of months since about two years ago.Do you suggest a Blackmores suplement which may assist as a preventative? I consult my doctor when I get attacks and I watch my diet.I am not overwieght. Cheers Richard Attwood
Anonymous
Anonymous 28 Apr 2014
Hi David,
Sorry to hear you are experiencing such pain. I hope the suggestions about are helpful. If you require further assistance please contact Blackmores Naturopathic Advisory for further advice.
Danielle
Danielle 18 Mar 2014
I have it really bad in my elbow and in my ankle but my elbow is the worst
Anonymous
Anonymous 18 Mar 2014
Hello Desi, thank you for sharing your health concerns with us. You are correct: it can be hard to avoid foods high in uric acid and calcium oxalate at the same time. My suggestion is to avoid as much as you can those foods that are very high in each group, such as seafood, red meat, yeast and alcohol for uric acid, and nuts, soy protein, chocolate, black tea, berries, dark greens such as kale and spinach, eggplant, sweet potatoes for calcium oxalate, to mention some of them. As a general rule, it would be advisable to keep your diet as clean as possible, with low sodium, and high fluid intake, possibly with non-alcoholic and caffeine-free drinks.

Since this service is intended for self-limiting conditions, and I am not trained in allopathic medicine, unfortunately I cannot comment on your GP recommendations about medications. If you are unsure about taking any new medications, it would be appropriate either to discuss this with your GP or look for a second opinion from another healthcare practitioner.

I hope this information will be helpful Desi. Should you need any further help, please call our Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760 or email us at advice@blackmores.com.au. Kind regards, Rosaria (Blackmores naturopath)
Rosaria
Rosaria 03 Mar 2014