Gout is an ailment that is known in many circles as the “Disease of Kings,” in times past it was often associated with wealthy men who spend too much time eating and drinking, and it is one that can be avoided entirely in most cases, just by changing what you eat.
Gout is inflammatory arthritis that occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid in the body. When we eat foods that have a high purine content, this purine once broken down causes an elevation of uric acid, this elevation causes an accumulation of crystal deposits in the joints, and this can bring about a great deal of pain for those who suffer with it.
Most who enter a Doctor’s office with gout symptoms, usually relay a weekend where they spent time drinking a lot of beer while enjoying a nice steak or seafood. The most common joint that is affected is the big toe joint. The symptoms include a red-hot swollen toe that is so painful that it is difficult to sleep or even put a shoe on foot.
The best way to prevent gout is a lifestyle change, decreasing your consumption of alcohol, fatty meats, seafood, and sugary drinks. An increase in mobility through exercise also helps decrease the number of gouty attacks that occur. If you should find yourself in the midst of a flare-up, here are some things that you can do until you can see a Doctor.
- A cold compress works to decrease the active swelling around the area, as well as reducing the inflammation which can relieve pain.
- Staying hydrated can work to decrease the body’s ability to store the uric crystals in the joints.
- Keep the affected joint elevated and at rest.
- Soaking the affected area in apple cider vinegar is an old remedy that many find very useful.
- Drinking a few cups of ginger tea can help to decrease the inflammation, which relieves the pain associated with gout.
While many thinks that eating a meal fit for a king is the only way to live, one run in with gout may forever change your mind about that.