What is gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that primarily attacks the joints and other body parts like the ears, wrists, knuckles, knee, ankles, and other small joints. It is often characterized by painful swelling, stiffness, and inflammation of these affected joints. The swelling and stiffness are mainly the results of excess levels of uric acid forming crystals in the joints. The pain is due to the inflammatory response to the crystals formed.
The causes of gout may include lack of exercise, high levels of uric acid in the system, genetics, excessive consumption of meat, being overweight, menopause, excessive consumption of alcohol, stress, and excessive protein content in the body. It mainly affects the big toe, causing an increased swelling, inflammation, and redness in the affected area.
The deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint causes inflammation and makes the movement of the joint agonizing. The elevated levels of uric acid in the system also causes the depositing of crystals in the kidney, which, in turn, leads to stone formation.
An overweight or an obese person is more likely to suffer from frequent gout attacks. A gout attack generally results from years of having high levels of uric acid in your bloodstream. This condition is called hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia might also lead to other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, kidney failure, and heart failure.
The most common sign of a gout attack is the night-time swelling of the big toe followed by redness, tenderness, redness, and gut-wrenching pain. This attack might continue for days or even weeks before the pain goes away completely. Swelling causes pain and pain induces swelling. Hence it is important to address both.
Diagnosis of gout attacks
After doing a thorough physical exam, the doctor may also take a sample of the fluid from the swelling of the joint to look for uric acid crystals. A blood test is also needed to know the levels of uric acid in your bloodstream.
Methods for instant gout pain relief
The following methods will provide you with instant gout pain relief.
If you are under a gout attack and your doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory medicine, take it immediately. In the case of no prescribed medicines, ibuprofen will help you find instant gout pain relief. If you are advised to take a uric acid lowering medicine to reduce the risk of attacks. Continue to take the medicine throughout the attack.
Rest the affected area on a flat surface and avoid any movement of that particular part. Be relaxed and take rest, preferably on the bed as stress can aggravate gout.
Ice it down
To bring down the redness, inflammation, and the pain associated with gout, place an ice pack over the affected joint. Do this several times during the course of the attack to reduce the pain.
Plenty of fluids
Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. Drink plenty of water or milk. This will help in flushing out the uric acid crystals from the body and prevents the formation of kidney stones thereby giving you instant gout pain relief.
Get a cane
Walk around with a cane if needed. This will prevent in having put pressure on the affected joint, thereby helping you get instant gout pain relief.
Raise your foot
Elevate the affected joint above your chest to slow down the swelling which helps to get instant gout pain relief.
Maintain a proper diet by eliminating foods that contain sugar. Sugar and meat can increase the amount of uric acid in the body.
There are various home remedies that bring great relief from gout attacks. Turmeric, ginger, and fruits like apple, bananas, and pineapples contain anti-oxidant properties and anti-inflammatory agents that lower the swelling of the joints and reduce the inflammation. Lemon juice neutralizes uric acid in the bloodstream and thus reduces the pain.
Apple cider vinegar is also an effective home treatment for gout pain. The acidity present in the vinegar decreases the rate of inflammation and thus reduces the swelling.
Alternative treatments for instant gout pain relief
Some of the alternative treatments that can be undertaken during a gout attack are as follows:
– Epsom salt contains high levels of magnesium and helps in reducing the swelling. Along with warm water, Epsom salt makes an excellent treatment for gout attacks.
– Activated charcoal is well known for its absorbing properties. It absorbs the excess amount of uric acid present in your body.
– Baking soda is known for its alkalinity. Increasing the alkalinity in your body will lower the levels of uric acid. This means that it relieves you from the pain due to swelling.
– Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are efficient ways to get instant relief from the inflammation.
– Cherries are helpful in bringing down the inflammation and the swelling since they reduce the levels of uric acid in the system.
– Ibuprofen and Corticosteroids have also proven to be excellent for providing instant gout pain relief.
– Reducing the intake of sugar in your diet will help in gradually reducing uric acid levels and decreases the chances of having a gout attack.
Seek medical help
Have regular checkups with your doctor and pay attention to the diagnosis. Take all the prescribed medicines properly and you should be completely fine in few days. Use the above remedies for instant gout pain relief. If the pain is persistent and severe, seek immediate medical attention. Do not ignore the early signs of gout as it helps in treating the attacks easily.