Dr. Lam Labs, LLC


Gout – Knowledge, Prevention and Treatment


Gout is a condition that causes pain and swelling of the joints. Gout can affect any joint but is particularly common at the metatarsal-phalengeal joint of the base of the big toe. It is complex type of arthritis that affects anyone. Gout frequently affects men, women become susceptible to gout after menopause.

Signs and Symptoms of Gout

Gout signs and symptoms often occur at night and pain is sudden without any signs of impending gout attack.

1.       Joint Pain. Most patients usually wake up at the middle of the night experiencing sudden and intense joint pain. Severe pain could last for 4 to 12 hours. In some case high fever or fatigue may occur with the pain.

2.       Joint redness and swelling. The affected joint becomes red, tender, warm and swollen.

3.       Discomfort. After severe pain subsides, discomfort from the affected area could last for days or even weeks.

4.       Joint stiffness. As the gout progress, limited mobility on the affected joint can be expected.

What causes gout?

Gout occurs due to accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, this is related to high concentrations of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is actually harmless because it is naturally made by our body and is excreted by the kidneys. Unfortunately, people who are prone to gout form urate crystals due to high concentrations of blood uric acid. These crystals usually accumulate in the joints, irritating surrounding tissues and bone causing a very painful gout attack.

Factors That Can Increase Levels of Blood Uric Acid

Normally, the body constantly checks the levels of uric acid. If there is too much, this substance is easily excreted by the kidneys and bowels. However, when uric acid levels are too high, the kidneys or gut can no longer excrete as much as what is being produced. Below is a list of factors that can increase blood uric acid levels:

1.       Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages especially beer may not only increase uric acid levels, it can also prevent uric acid excretion thru the kidneys. It is best to avoid drinking beer in gout flare ups.  Wine is a better alternative, but in moderation only.

2.       Beverages that contain high fructose like fruit juices, sodas and non-diet soft drinks can cause uric acid to build up.

3.       Some foods have high purine content which could increase uric acid levels when consumed such as innards (liver, intestines and kidneys), seafoods (shrimps, lobsters, scallops, anchovies and herring), vegetables (artichokes, bean sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, peas, leeks and Brussels sprouts), red meat and poultry (turkey).

4.       Lack of Vitamin C. This water soluble vitamin help in excreting uric acid via the kidneys.

What can you do about gout?

If you have gout, the best way to stop the pain is thru prevention. Try avoiding the items mentioned above that increase blood uric acid levels. Remember to take your daily dose of vitamin C.

During bouts of gout pain, usually, NSAIDS like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can help reduce pain and swelling. Gout flare ups that are left untreated could lead to worsening pain and possible joint damage. If symptoms persist, it is best to visit your physician.

There also there natural supplements like GouTrol that can help prevent purines and uric acid build up. GouTrol is a gout supplement with natural ingredients in simple pill form, with all of the natural ingredients used to help symptoms of gout.

Ingredients to sooth the symptoms of gout include a proprietary blend of the following:

  • Vita C
  • Wild cherry
  • Alfalfa
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic