Saturday, March 31, 2007

Gout And Nutrition

Gout is a disease that is due to an inborn disorder of the uric acid metabolism and is also referred to as metabolic arthritis. When you suffer from this disease monosodium urate crystals are deposited on the articular cartilage of joints and in tissues such as the tendons. Then also causes an inflammatory reaction to the tissue and the deposits get larger and burst through the skin to form sinuses discharging a white material.

The bloodstream usually carries only a tiny amount of uric acid but if there is an increased concentration then crystals are deposited on the cartilage and tissues that surround the joints. If you have high levels of uric acid in your bloodstream it can also result in uric kidney stones.

The common effects of gout include the sudden pain, swelling, redness, warmness, stiffness in the joint, and sometimes a low fever may persist. Those suffering from gout are in pain because of the crystals inside the joint that cause pain whenever the area is moved, as well as the inflammation of the tissues around the joint which tends to cause swelling and soreness.

Gout commonly affects the big toe but can affect other area such as the joints in the ankle, heel, knee, wrist, instep, fingers, and spine. There have been instances where gout appears in the joints of the small toes which have become immobile because of an impact injury which leads to poor circulation and gout.

Hyperuricemia is a uric acid level higher than 420 ┬Ámol/L in males and 380 ┬Ámol/L in females. High uric acid levels don't always lead to gout. If it is suspected that you are suffering from gout the serum urate test should be repeated once the attack has subsided.

To get an accurate diagnosis of gout you must have a light microscopy of joint fluid aspirated from the joint to show intracellular monosodium urate crystal in synovial fluid polymorph nuclear leukocytes. Only a well trained specialist can distinguish the difference from other crystals.

If you aren't able to get immediate medical attention there are a few things that can provide temporary relief to the pain and swelling commonly associated with gout. NSAIDS including ibuprofen can be used to reduce the pain and inflammation, but stay away from aspirin as it has been known to have adverse affects. You can also apply Preparation H ointment to the affected skin to reduce swelling.

You can also apply ice to the affected area for 20-30 minutes multiple times throughout the day. Some may think that uric acid crystallization is increased with low temperatures but a recent study proved that those who use ice packs experienced a relief in pain without negative effects.

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