26/10/2021 / Health and Fitness

Is that pain in my toe, Gout?

Gout is generally regarded as a metabolic disorder that causes inflammation in the joints. Certain joints generally swell up in this disease and become very sensitive to pain, particularly affecting the big toe. Here's all you need to know about Gout.

Is that pain in my toe, Gout?
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Contents

Introduction

Gout is a very common term used for various health conditions caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. This buildup usually affects a person's feet. If a person has Gout, he/she will feel swelling and pain in the joints of the foot, particularly the big toe in the foot. Sudden and intense pain, also known as gout attacks, can make it feel like the affected person's foot is on fire.

What is a Gout?

It is generally regarded as a metabolic disorder that causes inflammation in the joints of the affected person. In this disease, certain joints generally swell up and become very sensitive to pain. The tiny needle-shaped crystals of uric acid that build up in the body's joints generally cause inflammation. These crystals are formed due to the deposition of too much uric acid in the affected person's body. The pain usually stays for one to two weeks and generally goes away after medication. 

How to differentiate Gout pain from any other pain?

  • Generally, gout pain is first thought of as the pain caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. Both cause pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints that can limit the range of motion of a person. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, whereas Gout is generally caused due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood of a person.

  • The pain from Gout generally feels like a hot poker in the joint, whereas a person having rheumatoid arthritis will have a kind of pain that creeps to the body. The age of a person can also tell about the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis can happen to anyone of any age group. Still, it usually appears in women in their reproductive years. In contrast, Gout arises in one of the two stages of life, i.e., either in the late 20s or early 30s and the seventies or eighties.

Is that pain in my toe, Gout?

Major Symptoms of Gout

  • Some people generally have too much uric acid in their blood but do not have any symptoms. This is usually called asymptomatic Gout. For acute Gout in the human body, the symptoms come on quickly from the buildup of crystals in the joint. This can also last for 3 to 10 days. The affected person will have intense pain and swelling as well as their joints may feel warm. Between gout attacks, they won't be having any other symptoms.

  • If a person doesn't treat Gout, it can also become chronic. Hard lumps, called tophi, will eventually develop in the body joints and the skin and soft tissue surrounding them. These deposits can also permanently damage the body's joints. Prompt treatment of Gout is essential to prevent Gout from turning chronic. Knowing how to spot gout symptoms can help a person get to a doctor before it causes any permanent problems to the body.

6 Primary Causes of Gout

It is generally caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the blood from the breakdown of purines. Certain medical conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders or dehydration, make the body produce too much uric acid. A kidney or a thyroid problem, or an inherited disorder, usually makes it harder for the body to remove excess uric acid.

A person can get Gout if:

1. He/she is a middle-aged man or postmenopausal woman.

2. They have parents, siblings, or other family members with Gout, so it is also genetic.

3. Drink too much alcohol.

4. Taking certain medications such as any diuretics and cyclosporine.

5. Having a medical condition like high blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, or having sleep apnea.

6. In some people with Gout, the diet is the cause. 

Gout Diagnosis

The doctor can diagnose Gout, which can be based on a review of the person's medical history, a physical exam, and the various symptoms. The doctor will likely base the diagnosis on various factors:

1. The description of joint pain of the person.

2. how often they have experienced intense pain in the joint.

3. how red or swollen the area is of the affected person.

Gout Diagnosis

4. The health expert may prescribe a test to check the buildup of uric acid in the joint. 

If a person has symptoms of Gout, they can start to visit a primary care doctor

4 Effective Treatment of Gout

  • If it is left untreated, Gout will eventually lead to arthritis in a person. This painful condition can leave the joint permanently damaged and swollen in the affected person. The doctor's treatment plan generally depends on the stage as well as the severity of the Gout.

  • Medications to treat Gout generally work in two ways: They relieve pain and bring down the inflammation, or they prevent any future gout attacks by lowering uric acid levels in the affected person.

1. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which includes aspirin (Bufferin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve)

2. colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare)

3. corticosteroids

1. xanthine oxidase inhibitors that include allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim) and febuxostat (Uloric)

2. probenecid (Probalan)

3. Lifestyle Changes

Along with the medications, the doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes of the affected person to help manage symptoms and reduce risks of future gout attacks. They include:

1. reduce the alcohol intake.

2. losing weight of the affected person.

3. quit smoking.

quit smoking.

4. Foods to Avoid in Gout

Certain foods generally are high in purine levels which break down into uric acid in the body. Many people don't have any problem regarding the intake of high-purine foods into their bodies. But if a body has trouble releasing excess uric acid, they should avoid certain foods and drinks, such as:

1. organ meats.

2. red meats.

3. alcohol.

4. certain seafood.

5. Carbonated beverages and foods containing the sugar fructose.

Certain foods also help to reduce uric acid levels in the body. 

5 Effective Home Remedies of Gout

Various studies suggest that various natural remedies may help lower uric acid levels and prevent gout attacks. They are:

1. tart cherries.

2. food containing magnesium such as avocados, nuts, legumes, etc.

3. ginger.

5 Effective Home Remedies of Gout

4. apple cider vinegar.

5. celery.

Simply eating this kind of food may not be enough to keep Gout in control. 

Top 4 Gout Surgery

Gout can typically be treated without any surgery. But after many years, this condition can also damage the joints, tear the tendons, and cause various infections in the skin over the joints. Hard deposits, called tophi, can also build upon the joints and other places like the ear. These lumps can be very painful and swollen, and they can also permanently damage the joints of the body.

Four surgical procedures to treat tophi caused due to Gout are:

1. surgery to remove tophi.

2. surgery.

3.  for joint fusion.

4. surgery for joint replacement

What is Tophi ?

They are generally the swollen lumps present around the joints, which usually look like the knots present on a tree trunk. They usually occur in the joints like the affected person's fingers, feet, knees, and ears. Tophi themselves don't hurt the person, but the inflammation they cause can be painful. Sometimes tophi are formed in the connective tissue outside the joints of a person. A person can also discover some of the more unusual places where they might find these growths.

gout toe

Is Gout painful ?

  • Yes, Gout can be excruciating. The pain in the big toe is generally termed as one of the first symptoms that people report. The pain is generally accompanied by more typical arthritis symptoms, including swelling and warmth in the joints.

  • Gout pain generally varies in severity of the affected person. Pain in the big toe can be very intense in the initial days. After the acute attack, it may also subside to a dull ache.

  • The pain and the swelling, and various other symptoms are generally the results of the body, which is launching a defense that is done by the immune system against uric acid crystals present in the joints. This attack also leads to releasing chemicals, including cytokines, which generally promote more painful inflammation.

Top 5 Gout Essential Oils

  • Essential oils are generally plant-based substances that can be used in aromatherapy. Some of the oils are thought to have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antibacterial effects on the body.

  • Some of the essential oils are also used to treat Gout that can be used by the affected person includes:

1. Celery seed oil

2. Lemongrass oil

3. Olive leaf extract

4. Yarrow oil extract

5. Chinese cinnamon

  • The affected person can breathe in these essential oils, rub the diluted oil on the skin, or make tea from the plant's dried leaves. They should not take the oil directly into the mouth. They are not safe for ingestion.

Is Gout Hereditary?

  • Gout is at least partly due to the heredity factors of a person. Researchers have also found dozens of genes that can increase people's susceptibility to Gout, including SLC2A9 and ABCG2. Genes associated with Gout generally affect the amount of uric acid the body holds onto and releases.

  • Because of various genetic factors that are related to it, Gout runs in families. People with a parent, sibling, or another close relative with Gout are more likely to get these types of the condition themselves. The genes probably set the stage for a person to have Gout. Environmental factors can also affect it, which includes factors such as diet, which trigger the disease.

Word of Wisdom

  • Alcohol and food particles like red meat and seafood are high in purines. When the body breaks down purines, the process thereby releases uric acid

  • The more uric acid is in the body. The higher the chance of getting Gout. Alcohol can also reduce the rate at which a body removes uric acid, leading to Gout.


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