Gout is a common type of arthritis (inflammation of the joints). It is caused when the body excessively produces uric acid or when it can’t adequately remove it from the circulation leading to a condition called hyperuricemia or increased uric acid levels in the circulation.
An increased amount of circulating uric acid causes gout as it starts to deposit in the form of urate crystals inside joints, especially small joints, all over the body causing them to inflame and cause a gout flare (or gout attack).
Symptoms of a gout flare include pain, redness, hotness, and swelling of a joint (commonly the base of the big toe) that might limit the joint’s range of movement.
Gout attacks usually develop suddenly and may awaken a person in the middle of the night as they are known to frequently occur during nighttime.
- Food: Uric acid is produced as a result of consuming large amounts of meat and seafood.
- Drinks: Drinking large amounts of beer or fructose-sweetened beverages causes gout.
- Health conditions: The risk of developing gout is increased in obese individuals, those with high blood pressure and those suffering from chronic heart or kidney diseases.
- Medications: Some common medications for high blood pressure and low-dose aspirin may precipitate gout.
Prevention of gout
- Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids or receiving intravenous (IV) hydration such as that offered by Vida-Flo for those who do not or cannot drink adequate amounts of water during the day is vital to avoid developing gout in the first place.
Additionally, IV hydration (Vida-Flo) and drinking plenty of fluids are important for those suffering from gout during the symptom-free periods and in between gout attacks to help prevent a recurrence.
This works by diluting the effect of circulating uric acid and increasing its natural excretion from the body in urine.
IV hydration and drinking plenty of fluids thus reduce the chances of urate crystal formation and deposition in joints thus preventing gout.
- Limit intake of meat, poultry, and fish.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol (especially beers) and fructose-sweetened beverages.
Treatment of gout
Treatment of gout usually involves medications. There are several treatment options available to help improve or relieve gout symptoms during an attack. Other treatments are available to prevent recurrent attacks, these work by either decreasing production of uric acid or increasing its removal from the circulation.
Additionally, IV hydration is used in the treatment of certain gout complications that may affect the kidneys by promoting adequate urine output and preventing further precipitation of uric acid.
Receiving plenty of fluids remains a cornerstone – medication-free – option in the prevention of gout attacks. This can be safely and rapidly achieved by IV hydration with Vida-Flo.