Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Ralph Aichinger
Gout causes inflammation of the joint that can result in excruciating pain. Even if only one joint is affected, gout can cause muscle aches, fever and many other flu-like symptoms. To help reduce the pain and assist the healing process, there are several over-the-counter gout treatments.
Gout occurs seven to nine times more often in men than in women, and more often in men over 40.
Gout is caused by extreme levels of uric acid. Normally this acid is excreted in urine, but patients with gout don't excrete enough or their bodies produce too much uric acid. In this case, the overabundance of uric acid creates small, needle-like crystals that gather in the joints, leading to inflammation and causing pain and swelling. Most of the time gout affects only one joint, and 50 per cent of the time that joint is the big toe.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful in managing the pain of gout. It is important to note that ibuprofen has been proven to help reduce inflammation, while aspirin can make gout worse.
Drinking large amount of fluid, such as water or herbal teas, can help to flush the extra uric acid from the body.
If you have a family history of gout, consider increasing your calcium intake. The American College of Rheumatology suggests that a daily dose of 1,000 milligrams of calcium might help to reduce your risk of gout.
Research conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital found that losing 4.54 Kilogram and keeping it off can reduce the risk of gout by 39 per cent.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Ralph Aichinger