What are the symptoms of Gout? Imagine this scene — you wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the facilities, and as you get out of bed, you practically stumble, as your foot is in a sudden attack of intense pain. You’re wondering what on earth you did to yourself earlier in the day, but you can’t think of anything! When nothing obvious comes to mind, sometimes we have to think beyond the typical injury.
My 35 year old husband came down with this same burning pain in his foot one night. The next day, as he was thinking about making a doctor appointment, his much older co-worker suggested it could be gout. We were both quite young at the time, and asked each other, what is gout, and what are the symptoms of gout? Neither one of us knew (or knew anyone that had it), but in the back of his mind, he thought it maybe was an old man’s disease. Au contraire – this is more and more becoming a younger person’s disease, and not only in men.
The symptoms of gout can often strike in the middle of the night, they are intense, symptoms of gout and there often is no warning until the pain arrives. It can be described as:
” An intense, sharp pain in the joints, very often the big toe. However, it can also show up in feet, ankles, knees, hands or wrists.
” Red, swollen and tender areas where the affliction has taken hold.
” The tenderness and pain can linger for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Later incidents can likely last longer than your first attacks.
” The pain is greatest at the beginning of an attack, generally the first 24 hours.
Even if you cannot figure out what your diagnosis is on your own, a pain that is this severe should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Untreated symptoms can bring a patient to more aggravating pain and/or joint damage.
Symptoms of gout strike without notice, when uric acid in the blood supply become high. gout symptoms foot Crystals are created, and they cluster around a joint. The creation of uric acid in the blood is a normal occurrence, from the body breaking down purines (often created from eating foods like asparagus, mushrooms, and certain proteins like organ meats, herring and anchovies). It is linked to a diet having an excess of meat, seafood and/or alcohol.
The symptoms of gout can sometimes be controlled with diet. The purpose of the diet would be to control the creation and elimination of uric acid so as to prevent gout attacks, or at least lessen the severity of attacks.
A gout diet would minimize foods high in purines . This would include limiting poultry and seafood to approximately 4 to 6 ounces per day. It would increase plant-based proteins, such as beans, legumes and nuts. It would limit alcohol, especially beer, to one or two 5 ounce servings a day of wine (less likely than beer and other alcohols to produce symptoms). It would encourage the patient to drink lots of fluids, water in particular, around eight 8 ounce servings per day. It would encourage consuming more complex carbs, like whole grains, fruits, over refined carbs such as white bread or sugary foods. And it would limit sugar, to leave room for the foods that are more necessary to help control gout. It is also thought that drinking 4 – 6 cups of coffee a day helps lower the occurrence of gout in men.
Following a gout diet can help reduce uric acid creation in the body and maximize its elimination. It is often not quite enough to treat the symptoms of gout without medication, but it may lessen severity or lower the occurrence of attacks. Medications that are sometimes used would include
” NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to control the swelling and pain, and perhaps in low doses to prevent additional attacks;
” Colchicine, a type of pain reliever which is very effective on the symptoms of gout, especially if started early. It can also be used in low doses to prevent further attacks.
” Corticosteroids (such as prednisone) to control swelling and pain. symptoms of gout in foot This can be taken orally or injected, and are most often reserved for patients who can’t tolerate NSAIDS or colchicines.
My husband had more than a couple gout attacks. He wasn’t real crazy about limiting his diet in a big way – he felt like he was too healthy and too young to be doing such things. And by that decision, he did have more bouts with it. It took him several times, much pain and suffering (as well as crutches!) to take the symptoms of gout more seriously. He’s now gone several years without an event. I’ve since found out that the husbands of two of my close friends have gout! Who knew this was something that could seriously affect people in our generation! But again, this is a controllable disease, and it just takes a concerted effort to eat and drink the right things, and possibly using medication to prevent future attacks. By no means does it have to be a crippling experience!