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Hello I'm Dr. Gemma Newman and I'm a GP in Isleworth and today I'm here to help you with a few top tips to help you improve your health. I'd like to talk to you today about how to cure gout. Now firstly a bit of background. What is gout? Gout is cause by an excess of uric acid in our blood stream. Now uric acid is a substance that our bodies produce naturally and excrete. But some people are prone to build up abnormal levels of urate in body. And that can unfortunately form urate crystals in the joints which can become severely painful, red hot and tender or you can get deposits else where in the body and underneath the skin. The most common place for that would be the elbows. So now we've talked a little bit about why gout happens. Let's talk about how to treat it. If you're having a severe gout attack it's worth going to see your GP. Especially if you have not been diagnosed with gout before. Because there maybe another cause for your joint pain. So if you know that it's gout and you've had it before, the first thing I'd suggest is that you rest. You can elevate the leg if it's in the foot, which it normally is. In fact the great toe is the most common place where you might get gout. So rest the foot and raise the foot. Some people find ice helpful for reducing the inflammation in the toe, although it is very painful. So some people say they that prefer just to leave it alone and not to touch the joint at all. I would also recommend anti-inflammatory pain killers they work really, really well for reducing the pain of gout. Anti-inflammatory pain killers would include things like ibuprofen, indomethacin, Voltaren. Some of these you need to get from your doctor. Its also worth pointing out that anti-inflammatory painkillers are not suitable for everyone. So if you have other problems like heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid problems, diabetes or if you have stomach ulcers or asthma it's worth going to see your doctor first before you take these medications. There is another medication that you can use to improve gout and that's called Colchicine. So again go and see you're GP if you need this. So now we've talked about how to treat gout. Let's talk a little bit about how to prevent it. The first thing to do is to look at any medications you might be taking because some medications increase your chances of getting gout. Things like benserazide and other diuretics and aspirin. So its worth asking your doctor about this if you are on any medications. It's important to take enough vitamin C and I would suggest lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. It's worth avoiding acid forming food especially during an acute attack. An acid forming foods can include things like red meats, artificial sweeteners, vinegar, fizzy drinks, white flour, cigarettes, beer, salt and pork. Now there are other kinds of foods that could also increase the amount of uric acid in your system over all and those foods may not cause gout but they may, if you have a lot of them, tip the balance if you have a high uric acid level anyway. And these foods would include things like: marmite, herring, sardines, fried foods, roasted nuts, processed meats, cakes, sugar all sorts of things. So there is a rather long list so if you are not sure it's worth asking your own GP about that. What else can you do to avoid gout? I would advise you to drink plenty of fluids, that's very important. Don't let yourself get dehydrated. I would also avoid any alcohol binges as this can cause an increase of uric acid levels in your blood. Another thing that I would suggest for you is that if you're over weight is that it might be important to lose a few pounds. Now you've got to do this sensibly. Don't go on a crash diet or a high protein diet or starve yourself because this can cause a rise in your uric acid level and it could make gout worse. So if you've tried a
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