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 have high uric acid levels an aslo have high calcium oxylate levels. I have had swollen ankles now for 3 months and the doctor says its gout but I didnt think it would last this long. I stopped taking lasix for the fluid retention in the ankles and now the doctor wants to put me on Progout medication which I am very reluctant to do. The calcium oxylate information says I shouldnt eat berries and lots of vegetables such as spinach which I thought were good to eat. There are alot of contradictions form the inf that I havebeen reading and now i am quite confused.
Anonymous
Anonymous 03 Mar 2014
Hi Nagendra, sorry to hear of the severe pain in the knee you are experiencing from gout. You may wish to look at Blackmores Celery 3000, it is a traditional herbal remedy used to help manage and relieve the symptoms of gout, arthritis and rheumatism. All the best.
Susan
Susan 19 Feb 2014
Hi Bill, the base of the big toe is one of the most common areas in the body where pain from gout is experienced. I trust you got some information from the article above. All the best, Jen (Blackmores Naturopath)

Hi Daniel, adjusting your diet to minimise gout aggravating foods and drinks. Alcohol increases uric acid levels and reduces the body’s ability to excrete uric acid; therefore it would be wise to eliminate alcohol from your diet. Foods containing substances known as purines also can aggravate gout. Foods containing purines include- gravies, stocks, organ meats, shellfish, anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, spinach, mussels, mushrooms and asparagus. Fruits and vegetables aid the body’s elimination of uric acid. This is especially true of strawberries, blueberries and cherries. A minimum daily intake of at least two litres of filtered water also helps to dilute uric acid. Consume a diet high in complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables. Also try vegetable proteins such as tofu, beans, and lentils to help prevent an attack. Arthritis NSW also states: Gout is usually caused by your kidneys not flushing uric acid out of your body quickly enough. Gout runs in families, although not all family members will be affected. There are some lifestyle factors which may increase your risk of developing gout, including:
• drinking alcohol
• dehydration (not drinking enough water)
• being overweight or overeating
• ‘crash’ dieting or fasting
• eating certain foods
I trust this information is helpful. All the best Daniel, Jen (Blackmores Naturopath)
Jennifer
Jennifer 18 Feb 2014
Am diagonised with gout and i desparately need help with a list of diet to help reduce.
Anonymous
Anonymous 18 Feb 2014
right big toe
Anonymous
Anonymous 17 Feb 2014
I have suffered from knee gout causing severe pain . please suggest a blackmores remedy
Anonymous
Anonymous 17 Feb 2014
Hi Phil, generally speaking the sensations experienced with gout sufferers is more of a sensation of heat and warmth, stiffness, tenderness and redness, due to inflammation. You may need to check with your doctor to investigate further with regards to the stinging you are experiencing, as it may be due to a number of reasons. All the best Phil, Jen. (Blackmores naturoapth)
Jennifer
Jennifer 07 Feb 2014
I often experience stinging pain in the three smaller toes on awakening in the morning. Once up an about, it disappears.
Any possible diagnosis on this. Have good, mainly veg diet,
fit and generally healthy and active. 70 years of age
Anonymous
Anonymous 05 Feb 2014