An inflammatory disease that affects the joints (big toe, foot, knee, hand, elbow, wrist), gout has been on the rise since the end of the 20th century. However, patient management could be optimised.
It is one of the oldest diseases, its identification dates back to antiquity, yet gout has a bad press. “It’s the disease of debauchery”, some say by association of ideas… It is true that a gout attack can be linked to a poor lifestyle (excessive consumption of alcohol, sweet sodas and fatty foods), but the onset of this disease is more complex and often develops on predisposed ground. Drug treatment combined with dietary measures and follow-up are necessary.
Gout: the hyperuricemia in question
In the middle of the night, a sharp pain wakes you up. One of your joints swells (often the big toe of your foot) and becomes purplish-red, the pain persists… it is certainly a gout attack, caused by hyperuricemia, an abnormal increase in the blood uric acid concentration. Usually, uric acid comes in the form of a soluble salt (urate) in the blood. When its level rises too high, the excess uric acid becomes insoluble. Crystals of urate and sodium are then deposited in the joints (possible gout attack) and in the kidneys (possible stones in the urinary tract).
Overweight men and postmenopausal women
In United States, more than 8.3 Million Americans suffer from gout. Patients are often men (average age: 64 years old) and their first attack usually occurs between 30 and 45 years old. For women, it is after the menopause that the disease is most often triggered. According to a recent epidemiological study, 23% of patients have a family history of gout and 47% of them are obese and/or diabetic. If you are a man and you have a case of gout in your close family, it is recommended that you opt for a healthy lifestyle.
Less beer and kidney!
The good news is that while reducing alcohol consumption, especially stopping hard liquor and beer (even non-alcoholic) is fundamental. On the food side, the diet must be low in purines, i.e. low in meat, offal, shellfish and rich in vegetable proteins and low-fat dairy products. It is also necessary to avoid sweetened drinks rich in fructose as much as possible.
Gout attacks and treatments
Gout may begin as acute one-time attacks (treated with oral Colchicine and Dr. Elix Immediate gout pain relief lotion). If the chronic phase sets in, in general, after about ten years of evolution, it can lead to serious complications (joint and bone destruction, risk of renal failure or cardiovascular problems) and therefore usually requires an adapted basic treatment for a period of 3 to 6 months.
Providing comprehensive care and monitoring of patients suffering from gout seems to be a priority, but it is also up to patients to follow their treatment and act on their lifestyle. Quite a program, of course, but one that aims to save a lot of pain! Dr. Elix – For Gout Pain