Gout is a form of arthritis that usually affects a single joint. The difference between Gout and other forms of arthritis is that Gout is the result of the way the body metabolizes specific elements and other types of arthritis are caused by a faulty immune system. The big toe is a common location for a Gout attack to occur. Acute Gout attacks usually happen without warning in the middle of the night. If you suffer from this condition, it is critical you learn how to prevent Gout attacks from happening to you.
Measures that can help with prevention of Gout attacks
When it comes to preventing Gout attacks, the most important thing you can do is to identify the cause of your attacks. Researchers have concluded that there is a definite genetic link for people who suffer from Gout. Individuals who are prone to acute Gout attacks have problem with processing of uric acid. As the uric acid reaches a higher level in the body, it will manufacture small crystals. These crystals are deposited in joint spaces and connective tissues, which then cause severe inflammation and pain in the joint.
When it comes to preventing Gout attacks, it is best to find out what is causing your specific attacks. There are many precipitating factors for Gout. Increase in uric acid levels and Gout attacks may be aggravated due to following factors:
Purine Rich Foods
Uric acid is the result of the breakdown of purines. Purines are found in meats, alcoholic beverages, yeast and legumes. If you eat a lot of meat or drink a lot of alcohol, you could be contributing to your Gout attacks. Cut back on the amount of meat you eat and cut out your alcohol consumption. You may find this to eliminate painful Gout attacks.
Most of us do not drink enough water. We live in a state of dehydration. This can be evidenced by dry skin, brittle nails, feeling of fatigue, and Gout attacks. When the body does not get enough water, uric acid will build up in the blood. If you can increase your water intake, you can dilute the uric acid and help the kidneys function better. Normal functioning kidneys can remove excess uric acid from your body and therefore prevent a Gout attack.
Being overweight can lead to more acute Gout attacks because there is more tissue available for the body to break down into uric acid. Being overweight also puts more pressure on the joints which can lead to more painful Gout symptoms. If you are overweight, the best thing you can do for your Gout and for your general health is to start eating a healthy low-fat diet to help shed those extra pounds.
Abnormal Kidney Function
There are a lot of reasons why an individual may suffer from abnormal kidney function. Underlying disease such as diabetes or renal failure can affect the kidney function. Some individuals may have only one working kidney, which can greatly impact the way the body eliminates waste and uric acid. If you have abnormal kidney function and are suffering from Gout, then you need to see your doctor for advice on what to do. Ask him how you can manage your Gout attacks at home without the need for a lot of medications.
For some individuals, medications are an essential part of their lives. If you have recently started a new medication and have noticed an increase in your Gout symptoms then you should see your doctor. He may be able to prescribe something different that will not put you at risk of Gout.
When you are trying to determine how to prevent Gout attacks, it is best to start with the cause. Once you have determined the cause or the causes of your acute Gout attacks, it is up to you to make the necessary changes in your life that can solve your Gout problem. Just because you have been diagnosed with Gout doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Preventing Gout attacks is simple once you know how.