Gout is a kind of arthritis that often causes sudden and intense pain in the toe joint. The pain can be so severe that it interrupts sleep. If your aging relative suffers from gout, one of the things you may wonder is how long the pain will last. Knowing more about gout can help you to know what to expect and better manage the condition.
-Gout happens when urate crystals build up in a joint, which makes the joint swell and hurt. Urate crystals come from having too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down purines, a substance found naturally in the body and in some foods, like organ meats and seafood. Certain foods can also encourage the body to produce more uric acid, like beer and drinks that contain fructose. The crystals that form as a result are sharp, which is what causes the pain and inflammation.
-People who are overweight or eat a diet high in meat, seafood, and sugary drinks are at a higher risk of developing gout. Some medical conditions and medications can increase the chances of getting gout, too.
The symptoms of gout typically come on suddenly and frequently occur at night. Some of the symptoms of gout include:
-Severe Pain: The pain of gout is usually at its worst during the first 4 to 12 hours of an attack. Gout most often affects the joint in the big toe. Other frequently affected joints are the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.
-Lasting Discomfort: Once the worst pain is gone, joints continue to feel uncomfortable for a while.
-Inflammation: The joint looks swollen, red, and may feel warm to the touch. Being touched can be painful.
Length of An Attack
-The average gout attack lasts somewhere between 3 and 10 days. It may even last a few weeks. Just how long your aging relative’s gout attack will last depends on the following factors:
-Number of Attacks: A first gout attack usually doesn’t last as long as subsequent attacks will.
-Treatment: Getting treatment for gout can lessen the symptoms and make the attack go away sooner. There are also at home treatments that can help, like using a cold pack and resting the affected joint.
-Diet: Avoiding foods that cause a rise in uric acid can make gout attacks less severe and reduce the chances of suffering another one.
Elder care can help older adults to manage gout and reduce the discomfort of an attack. Elder care providers can assist the senior in applying an ice pack to the painful joint. An elder care provider can also bring the senior items they need so that they don’t have to get up and can rest the joint. And, an elder care provider can remind the older adult when it is time for them to take gout medications.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in West Hollywood, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call Us Today (888) 989-7388
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