Gout: New Treatments and Recommendations for Prevention
Gout commonly presents with a sudden onset of redness, swelling and excruciating pain of the great toe joint during the night. Gout is a painful joint condition brought on by hyperuricemia (high levels of uric acid in the blood) resulting in the particular precipitation of needle-like crystals in the joints. The prevalence of gout has been steadily increasing over the past two decades is now estimated to be 1-2% of the U.S. population. Gout is more common in men, but in recent years, the incidence of gout has doubled in women (1,2).
The common causes of gout are diet, overproduction of uric acid and renal disease. Common risk factors include family history, male gender, a high protein diet, heavy alcoholic beverages usage, high blood pressure, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome, diuretic use and obesity. Hyperuricemia has been suspected to increase the risk of heart disease by increasing inflammatory factors that damage arteries (3).
Treatment Varies With Regard to Acute and Chronic Gout
For acute gout flares, the standard treatment is a course of anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections and/or joint aspiration. Allopurinol is commonly used for treatment of chronic gout and prevention of acute gout attacks. Febuxostat is a new treatment recently approved by the Fda. In long term studies over a 5-year period, febuxostat had been shown to reduce uric acid levels as well as substantially lower or eliminate acute gout episodes (4). A study last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed 500 mg of Vitamin c per day reduced the incidence of gout by 15% (2). Researchers at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada in Vancouver found long-term coffee consumption is associated with a lower incidence of gout. Individuals who drank four + cups of coffee per day had the least risk of developing gout (5). The authors did not recommend starting to drink coffee for those people who do not previously drink coffee.
The relationship between heart disease as well as gout has been diagnosed to be able to be more coincidental than causative, until lately. Recent research suggests uric acid may be a causative factor in heart disease. Uric acid activates the immune response and the inflammatory process. This reaction can be seen in an acute gout flare involving a painful, red, hot, swollen great toe joint. Uric acid is both an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. This means that even though uric acid may quench free radicals and reduce oxidative cell damage, it also increases mediators which affect blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease (6).
Gout and Diet: Treatment for Gout Flare-Ups with Cherries or Cherry Juice
Gout and Diet: Treatment for Gout Flare-Ups with Cherries or Cherry Juice Over the last 40 years, the burden of gout, a painful inflammatory arthritis, has risen ...
Goutezol High Uric Acid ReliefGoutezol Gout Relief contains soothing botanicals developed to support healthy uric acid metabolism. Goutezol consists of only the pharma-grade quality ingredients that have been clinically formulated to deliver optimum results. Goutezol's active ingredients have been used for many years to support healthy uric acid metabolism, help reducing high uric acid levels. Reducing uric acid and supporting uric acid metabolism has been proven to alleviate the flare-ups related to gout.
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The Most Effective Prevention of Gout is the Modification of Diet and Lifestyle
Specific foods and beverages, which includes red meat and alcohol, can bring about an acute gout attack. Obesity increases the risk of gout along with other conditions which increase the risk of gout, such as bring about and metabolic syndrome. Weight reduction and daily exercise are both appropriate protective treatments for gout. Other recommendations include limiting intake of sugary beverages and foods with added sugar, consuming whole grain products, nuts, dried beans, fruits, greens, moderate amounts of lean white meats as well as low fat dairy and oily fish (7). You may want to talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin c supplement or increasing your coffee intake.
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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2010 Apr;12(2):118-24
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Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jun;56(6):2049-55.
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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2010 Mar;22(2):165-72.
Christine Dobrowolski is a podiatrist and owner of Northcoast Footcare, Inc, an online resource with regard to foot information as well as medical doctor recommended foot care products.