Gout is a painful form of arthritis. When your body has extra uric acid, sharp crystals may form in the big toe or other joints, causing episodes of swelling and pain called gout attacks. it's due to a crystal called uric acid.
The good news is that gout is treatable with medications and changes in diet and lifestyle.
Gout can affect anyone. Men are three times more likely than women to experience gout as they have higher levels of uric acid. Women reach higher uric acid levels after menopause, therefore it generally occurs after menopause in women.
Obesity, or a lot of extra weight.
Congestive heart failure.
Family history of gout.
Hypertension (high blood pressure).
You are also more likely to develop gout if you:
Sudden severe pain in a joint – usually your big toe, but it can be in other joints in your feet, hands, wrists, elbows or knees or a hot, swollen, with red skin over the affected joint.
An attack of gout usually lasts 5 to 7 days, then gets better. It may not cause lasting damage to joints if you get treatment immediately.
Ask for an urgent GP appointment in the cases of:
These symptoms could mean you have an infection inside your joint and need urgent medical help.
You can take certain lifestyle alterations to help prevent gout:
Where possible limit or avoid:
Most people can tolerate high-purine foods. But if your body has trouble releasing excess uric acid, you may want to avoid certain foods and drinks, such as:
Gout and alcohol
Alcohol, like red meat and seafood, is high in purines. When your body breaks down purines, the process releases uric acid.
More uric acid increases your risk of having gout. Alcohol can also reduce the rate at which your body removes uric acid.
Not everyone who drinks will develop gout, however, high consumption of alcohol (more than 12 drinks per week) can increase the risk, especially in men. Beer is most likely to influence the risk.
Certain medications can lead to elevated uric acid levels. These medications include:
Having high urate levels and gout for a long time can lead to other health problems, including:
Gout essential oils
Essential oils are plant-based substances used in aromatherapy. Some oils are thought to have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antibacterial effects.
Some of the essential oils used to treat gout include:
Don't put essential oils directly on your skin. It's important to dilute them first with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. For example, for a 3 percent dilution, mix 20 drops of the essential oil with 6 teaspoons of the carrier oil. Don't put essential oils in your mouth, since they're not safe to ingest.
Although there is no magic pill for gout, certain supplements have been shown to fight inflammation, decrease uric acid levels and boost the immune system. Adding supplements to your overall care plan may help ease the symptoms of your gout. It’s also important to discuss with your doctor any supplements that you might want to try in case they could interact with any other medications you’re already taking.
Fish oil supplements: Omega 3 is known to reduce inflammation, which may also be helpful for people with gout because they reduce inflammation, a key hallmark of this condition. It may also be a good idea to get omega3 from supplements rather than seafood or fish, due to the animal protein raising uric acid levels.
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[iv] Ali Karakuş, Yeter Değer & Serkan Yıldırım (2017) Protective effect of Silybum marianum and Taraxacum officinale extracts against oxidative kidney injuries induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats, Renal Failure, 39:1, 1-6,
[v] Kiyani MM, Sohail MF, Shahnaz G, Rehman H, Akhtar MF, Nawaz I, Mahmood T, Manzoor M, Bokhari SAI. Evaluation of Turmeric Nanoparticles as Anti-Gout Agent: Modernization of a Traditional Drug. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Jan 11;55(1):10.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.