Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis and the most common arthritis in men overall. It typically occurs in men over the age of 50, but is not limited to this age group. It has a high association with other disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and psoriasis. Also, it is currently the only curable form of arthritis as symptoms can be completely eliminated if uric acid is kept below the recommend level.
Sudden onset of pain, swelling, warmth and redness of the big toe
Can also involve the ankle, wrist, knee and hands
Difficulty walking due to pain
Gout attacks are extremely painful, occur suddenly and typically last 7-10 days if left untreated. Over time it can lead to joint damage similar to what you can see with rheumatoid arthritis. The attacks occur due to elevated uric acid levels in the blood. However, only 25% of patients with elevated uric acid actually get gout. Dietary modification and weight loss are key to preventing attacks.
Avoidance of red meat
Avoidance of alcohol- especially beer
Avoidance of shellfish such as shrimp, avoidance of lobster
Increase in intake of low fat dairy products (cottage cheese)
Increase intake of cherries
To maintain low uric acid levels
Use of medicines that lower uric acid such as allopurinol and uloric
Use of medicines such as NSAIDs, prednisone and colchicine for treatment of acute flares
Diet and excercise
Control of underlying diabetes, hypertension and elevated cholesterol.