What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis and a metabolic disorder causing intense joint pain and inflammation. This type of arthritis mostly affects men (5 times more than women) (1) and causes intense pain and has the potential to disrupt your life for at least a week or possibly longer.
Causes of Gout
High levels of uric acid in the bloodstream cause gout. The kidneys filter out a certain amount of uric acid, but some people suffer from kidney problems that cause less to filter out. Excess uric acid levels form small, needle-like crystals in the joints, triggering joint pain (1).
Joint fluid is important when discussing gout because the amount of joint fluid directly correlates to the disease. Too little joint fluid increases the risk of uric acid crystals forming, as do joint fluid acidity (pH) levels and temperature (1).
There are various risk factors that increase your chances of developing gout, including:
- Alcohol Consumption
- Alcohol is a natural diuretic, meaning it increases urination. The more you urinate, the less fluid remains in your body. This causes the fluid that’s left to become concentrated, which promotes the growth of uric acid crystals. (2)
- Sugary Drinks (1)
- Fish and Meat
- Red meats and fish are purine-rich foods. Our bodies break down purines and turn them into uric acid, which is not bad at healthy levels. When we eat purine-rich foods too often, it can cause an increase in uric acid, which leads to gout. (3)
- Obesity (1)
- Genetics and Family History (3)
- Certain Medications
- Many medicines are diuretics which increase the risk of gout flare-ups.
Signs and Symptoms of Gout
Most people affected only experience acute gout attacks that occur randomly and only last a short while. The signs and symptoms of gout associated with gout are fairly easy to recognize:
The first symptom that occurs is intense pain in inflamed joints. This usually occurs in the mornings or at night and often in the big toe.
Then, the affected joint becomes sensitive to pressure and begins to overheat and turn red (1). In acute cases, gout usually affects just one joint (like the big toe), but other joints (ankles, knees, and wrists) may also suffer from these symptoms.
Acute gout attacks cause severe pain but typically go away on their own within a week or two.
Chronic gout causes the affected joints to remain at least slightly swollen and painful long term. This could result in disfigurement (large, swollen joints), permanent damage, or even kidney stones (1).
Doctors often run blood tests to measure uric acid levels, but not all people with high uric acid levels will develop gout. As always, please seek medical advice from a healthcare professional if you are experiencing severe symptoms so they can accurately diagnose you.
There are various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs doctors prescribe to lower swelling caused by gouty arthritis. Your physician may also suggest drugstore anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil or Ibuprofen. But these drugs may only relieve the symptoms of gout for a short period or time and can cause kidney and liver problems with constant use by elderly patients (4).
Luckily, there are more natural alternatives that studies suggest reduce swelling in joints, too.
In one study, mice fed a diet rich in omega-3’s showed less inflammation than mice fed a regular diet. Two specific omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-were tested. The consumption of these omega-3’s seems to reduce acute gout attacks (5).
Good thing GLX3 comes packed with all known omega-3s, including EPA and DHA!
Because external factors play such a significant role in developing gout, the best way to treat gout is to avoid the the things that promote the buildup of uric acid.
Reduce Consumption of Alcohol and Sugar Drinks
This one is pretty self explanatory-cut back on the booze!
Check Your Medications
Consult with your doctor to see if any medicines may produce inflammation and gout-like symptoms as a side effect.
Conclusion: Living with Gout
Gout is a real pain in the…toe (among other things).
Lifestyle changes (like adding a natural anti-inflammatory omega-3 supplement) are the easiest ways you can treat the intense pain that comes hand-in-hand (or big toe-in-big toe) with this cumbersome type of arthritis.
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