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Friday, February 18, 2011

What The Heck Is Gout?

Gout is another form of Arthritis that brings with it extreme and sudden pain. It is caused by the overload of uric acid in the blood that collect in the joints, like at the base of the big toe.

Normally the body breaks down the body's natural purines and forms uric acid. These acids dissolve in your blood and are flushed out of the body by the kidneys into the urine.

If your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys do not efficiently remove enough of it from your bloodstream, then the higher levels of uric acid form urate crystals around the joints bringing on an acute attack of Gout. It is severely painful and is also characterized by redness and swelling at the affected joint.

In many cases, an attack of Gout happens during the night while a person is sleeping only to be awakened by the feeling that a particular joint is on fire. It will appear inflammed and reddened and even the slightest touch will be almost unbearable. Men are in a higher risk class for getting Gout than women as are older people.

People who drink more than two alcoholic drinks per day are more likely to have an attack of Gout. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, your risks are higher than the average person of having an attack and it may run in your family. Untreated high levels of uric acid in the blood may cause kidney stones to form.

Your doctor will perform blood tests and joint fluid tests to determine the level of uric acid in your system before diagnosing you with Gout. Zyloprim, a medication for Gout has one of the scariest lists of possible side effects related to pharmacuetical drugs.

Among these, ironically are acute attacks of Gout, kidney failure, heart attack, drooling, amnesia, depression, completed suicide, respiratory problems like asthma, jaundice and infertility. In addition, the FDA requires Zyloprim to list the reactions of exfoliative, urticarial and purpuric lesions on the box as well.

An exfoliative skin condition is where basically, your skin will flake or fall off. Another side effect that the FDA requires Zyloprim makers to list on the box is irreversible hepatotoxicity or in laymen's terms, liver failure.

Probalan, on the other hand has its own list of side effects like troubled breathing, bloody urine, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, kidney failure, mood changes, heart failure and joint pain. The FDA has also issued warnings about combining Probalan with antibiotics like Cipro as it is contraindicated with this drug.

The long and scary list of side effects from pharmacuetical drugs have inspired many patients to seek out more natural and alternative methods of treatment for Rheumatic Diseases. Better Health Channel, an Australian award winning health and medical information website states that "Regular gentle exercise is one of the most effective treatments for Rheumatic Diseases, improving flexibility of joints, muscle strength, general health and fitness.

Water exercise is one of the most comfortable and effective ways that a person with arthritis can exercise because the joints and muscles can be exercised while supported in the water. Activities such as stretching or walking through water can exercise the joints without putting them under strain."

The site lists hydrotherapy spa treatments as one of the best water exercise options. More and more health professionals are recommending hydrotherapy for treatment of pain and stiffness related to Rheumatic Diseases.

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