Gout

By: Joe Swails


What is gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes painful inflammation in the joints. Although gout usually attacks the big toe, it can also affect other joints (one or two joints simultaneously) and can be excruciating.

About 1 in 200 adults suffer from gout, with the condition commonly affecting middle-aged men.

Symptoms
Symptoms of gout include:

painful joints

swelling

joint stiffness

redness around the affected area which quickly becomes sore

the collection of sodium urate crystals beneath the skin which can form small bumps (if left untreated, these can erupt and ooze a yellowish pus)

Note: People with gout experience unpredictable ‘attacks’ of the symptoms which can last for up to 10 days.

Causes
Gout is caused by an excessive build up of uric acid in the bloodstream. The uric acid forms into crystals which collect in the joints and cause them to become painful and inflamed.

Some people develop gout due to having a genetic predisposition to it (i.e. it is in the family).

Food and drink with high uric acid content includes:

beer

spirits

poultry

liver

kidneys

oily fish

pulses

Note: Chemotherapy drugs can also increase urate levels (levels of uric acid in your bloodstream).

Diagnosis
If you suffer from the aforementioned symptoms, arrange an appointment with your GP. After taking your medical history and asking you some questions about your symptoms, he or she will examine the affected area and take some fluid from your swollen joint (for analysis), before recommending an appropriate treatment or referring you to a specialist.

Effect on your life
Men are three times more likely to have gout than women. As well as the base of the big toe, the condition can affect other joints, such as: joints in the hand, knee, ankle and wrist. Therefore, during an attack of gout you may find everyday tasks, such as: writing, driving, lifting or carrying your children, and even climbing the stairs uncomfortable.

Treatment
Gout is usually treated with:

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

a prescribed medicine called Colchicine, but this can cause unpleasant side effects

Allopurinol which can sometimes prevent a further attack

Preventive measures you can take include:

losing weight (if you are overweight)

reducing alcohol consumption

reducing sugar intake (e.g., fizzy drinks and sweets), and

maintaining a healthy, balanced diet (with appropriate levels of vitamin C)

How Chemist Online can help
Vitamin C supplements can help prevent gout attacks. Through this website you can buy
Haliborange High Strength Vitamin C Plus Natural Bioflavonoid Tablets which are a delicious way of adding to the body’s essential vitamin supplies. We can also offer you HealthAid Vitamin C – a specially formulated buffered tablet that does not irritate the stomach and is released gradually to provide a steady source of vitamin C over a prolonged period of time.

www.chemistonline.co.uk

This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

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