Bout With Gout

19 06 2009

The most common signs of gout are sudden (acute) redness and inflammation around joints with intense pain.  Most often the first joint that is attacked with arthritis like symptoms is the big toe with intense pain and throbbing, also swollen beyond belief and reddened.  This experience is so painful one can hardly stand to have a bed sheet touch the toe.  The same condition can occur in many other joints such as feet, ankles, knees, fingers, hands, elbows and wrists.  Bursa sacs which are fluid protective cushions around body joints to protect joint tissues are breached by elevated uric acid forming crystals transported by the blood circulation and deposited within targeted joints.  Although there is much similarity in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the difference is RA afflicts up to several joints at a time, where gout usually impacts one joint at a time and typically starts in the feet.  Gout may also lead to a chronic bursitis (swollen bursa sacs) a condition where surgery may be required.  Uric acid crystals can also put you at risk for kidney stone problems.

Cause:  Purines are a part of our biology and introduced into the body through diet.  The by-product of Purines is uric acid.  Purines are part of human tissue and found in many Purine-Rich foods:  Beer, beverages, organ meat (liver, hearts, and kidneys), asparagus, yeast, sardines, anchovies, herring, fish, sweetbreads, smelt, and mussels.  Diets which are high in purines and protein have long have been suspected of causing gout.  By raising blood stream uric acid, painful crystals lodge within certain joints of our body creating acute pain.  Gout is considered one of the most painful forms of Rheumatic conditions and afflicts an estimated 840 out of 100,000 people in this US.  Gout accounts for approximately 5% of all cases of arthritis.  Symptoms:  Pain, swelling and tenderness, with limited movement within one or more joints; on and off pain mostly during the night time.  Increasing pain can last for hours and up to a week(s).  After periods of acute pain, the skin areas around the joint pain may peel, appear dry and become itchy.  Other symptoms: Fever or skin that looks infected with a red-purple in skin tone color.

  • Recommendations:
    -Feel for nodules (tophi) on ears, hands, or elbows – Hard uric acid crystals form under skin.
    -If you had surgery, or recovered from illness thereafter gout signs-symptoms.  See doctor.
    -Determine uric acid levels in bloodstream through blood test if you suspect you have gout.
    -Avoid alcohol, Drink Plenty of water. Exercise, maintain Ideal Body Weight.
    -Coffee and Tea is not a problem.
    -Avoid eating Purine-Rich foods and proteins.  Choose Tofu over meat products for example.
    – Gout Balanced Diet:  30% cals from fat (10% animal), 15% Low in Protein (soy, lean meat, poultry), and high in complex carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grain)  “American Medical Assoc.”
     – Do not participate in extreme dieting as this form of weight loss increases uric acid levels.
    -Reduce uric acid & inflammation by consuming dark berries; blackberries, cherries, raspberries and blueberry (ruby-red type combinations) (see our affiliated purity products within our MAE Wellness Store).
    -Anti-inflammatory foods:  Flax, salmon, nuts, olive oil.  Vit C and Folic acid may benefit.
    -Few supplements increase hyperuricemia risk, such as Vitamin A.

Issue “Recognize Personality Disorder”  Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.