5 Signs you May be Suffering from Gout

goutGout is a specific type of arthritis which was once associated with overindulgence and “high living”. This condition is actually caused by high uric acid levels resulting from poor diet choices and diets very high in protein. Gout is best known for painful joints caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals.

Uric acid is produced when proteins and purines are digested and broken down then normally eliminated in urine. When your liver and kidneys are unable to process and eliminate uric acid they begin to build up in your bloodstream and form crystals which then accumulate in many joints of your body, usually starting with fingers and toes and most often the big toes of one or both feet.

5 Signs and Symptoms of Gout

1. Severe Joint Pain – Affected joints will be hot, swollen, and very sensitive even to the slightest touch. Pain, and most often pain in the big toe often indicate gout. Wearing shoes and walking become very painful.

2. Peeling Skin – After the attack peaks, as the pain and swelling start to subside the surrounding area will start to itch and peel.

3. Fever, Redness, and Inflammation – The affected joint will be red and swollen with the most noticeable redness directly over the joint. The joint will be hot to the touch and as your body defends itself your entire body will be feverish.

4. Decreased Flexibility – In severe cases, the joint will become difficult or nearly impossible to move as the crystals accumulate in the joint itself.

5. Gradually Fades – Gout and its symptoms will gradually fade as the crystals are reabsorbed and properly eliminated, generally in under two weeks. Gout is acute and the associated pain and swelling occur rapidly, often overnight.

Recognize these symptoms, they act as an early warning system telling you to seek professional treatment. In the meantime, there are a few simple steps that you can take to temporarily alleviate the pain.

  • Elevate the affected joint to decrease swelling and promote drainage.
  • Gently apply an ice pack to offset the fever, reduce inflammation and detract from the pain. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin and for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen should help with the swelling and pain. Don’t take aspirin as it impairs the elimination of uric acid by the kidneys thus increasing your uric acid levels.

If you or a loved one suffers from gout and you would like to learn more about the disease, check out The Code for the complete gout information available, including alternative remedies, treatments, and rock-solid prevention strategies.

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