Attack!

There are many forms of rheumatic diseases and the gout attack happens to be one of the most painful of them. Caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood this disorder causes incredibly painful joints, often starting with the big toe then spreading to other joints.

Uric acid is a by- product of the natural metabolism of the body. The body has built-in mechanisms for neutralizing and eliminating this acid through urine. But in some people, for various reasons like heredity, age, sex or enzyme deficiencies, this acid neutralizing mechanism becomes inefficient.

This causes a rise in uric acid levels in the blood, which can eventually lead to an attack.

When the level of this acid in the blood exceeds 7mg/dl, it is transformed into needle shaped crystals called monosodium urate crystals. These crystals flow around the body within the blood stream and eventually get deposited in the soft tissues around the joints.

Normally the joint pain from an attack starts as a tingling sensation in the big toe. When the attack reaches its peak the joint under attack becomes red, highly swollen and very sensitive to touch. The attack usually exists for about a day to a week and sometimes it may remain for more than two weeks also.

There are many causes for the high uric acid levels that lead to an attack, and a sufferer must make lifestyle changes to ensure that their gout does not get worse. Treatments for gout always aim at reducing the pain as soon as possible and to take preventive steps to prevent repeated attacks.

There are many types of remedies available for this condition. Some of them are geared towards pain relief in the short term and others help with prevention of attacks as a long-term remedy. Some remedies can help with both the short term and long term issues.

It is the long term issues that are of the greatest importance. The effects of multiple attacks over time can include permanent damage to the joint’s soft tissues, and long lasting joint stiffness. The condition develops in stages getting progressively worse.

If a proper course of action is taken during the early stages it will be easier to control and manage the disease. With the right combination of diet, medication, exercise and lifestyle changes it is possible, even for people with a history of severe and frequent attacks, to live a near normal life.

Of paramount importance is your diet. Gout sufferers must plan their diet in such a way that it reduces the uric acid level in the blood and prevents the formation of crystals.

The diet for uric acid patient must limit the amount of purines ingested. They are naturally found in many foods, and form a part of your DNA. If you eat too much food containing such substance, the body cannot utilize it all, and they will be degraded into uric acid. If there is too much of this acid in the body then the acid begins to crystallize and deposit in the joints, eventually triggering attack.

Controlling alcohol consumption is a great way for gout sufferers to prevent gout attacks from occurring.
by tnarik under CC BY-SA
Controlling alcohol consumption is a great way for gout sufferers to prevent gout attacks from occurring.

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As well as eating a low purine diet, a sufferer needs to limit alcohol.  Alcohol interferes with the metabolism and can indirectly lead to a build up of uric acid, even though there is little or no purine in most alcoholic drinks. The intake of alcohol, especially beer and wine, has to either be completely stopped, or greatly reduced.

A sufferer should consider undertaking a stretching regime to ensure that their joints remain flexible. Over time, gout can permanently damage the tissues and leave the sufferer with very tight joints. Although stretching by itself does not alleviate the damage, it does help ensure that movement will not be completely restricted.

There are many types of remedies available for the control and management of gout. Out of them there are many natural and home-based remedies that are good for your gout without the side effects of medications. There are also many herbal based remedies also that can give good control over this condition when combined with right form of food and exercises.

What really needs to be most understood is that the attack itself is only the tip of the iceberg. The sufferer needs to identify and mitigate the underlying causes, and also check out the options for treatment, otherwise it will only get worse.

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