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Gout and Seniors

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Gout and Seniors

Gout is a condition caused by the crystallization of uric acid in the joints which ends up causing irregularities and inflammation in the affected joints and these are normally accompanied with extreme pain. The condition can last from a few hours to days to several weeks, and since making it go away completely is never easy, managing it and reducing exposure to the predisposing factors is an ideal way to deal with it. It is primarily an adult condition which tends to affect more men than women. Gout and seniors

How gout affects seniors

Seniors are faced with various health challenges and with the inclusion of gout, sometimes life can be unbearable to them. Just like any other condition, gout will have different effects depending on each individual, though most of the symptoms may just be the common ones. Unlike most gout sufferers who experience the symptoms periodically, senior gout sufferers tend to experience the symptoms more frequently and this is what makes it very stressful for them.

At the initial stages, the seniors will begin to experience the pain during the night, when it is less severe, but with time and as the attack progresses, the pain becomes really excruciating and may last for a days, weeks and in some severe cases, up to a month. The only option which the seniors thus have to mitigate the gout bouts is to treat them in good time to reduce the severity as well as the frequency of the attacks. Gout and seniors

Symptoms of gout in elders

Pain and inflammation of the skin and joints are some of the pronounced effects of gout in elders. Sometimes, the skin on the affected joints may appear purple or red. Quite often, the pain and symptoms will first be noticed on the big toe, though any other joint may be affected by gout and will demonstrate the symptoms. These include:

  • A characteristic warmth in the affected areas
  • Stiffness of the joints limited movement
  • Tenderness and redness on the affected skin areas
  • Pain and swelling in joints such as the ankles, knees, wrists, feet, and hands
  • Itching and sometimes peeling of the skin on the affected areas

Causes of gout in seniors

There are certain instances of gout which are hereditary, though a majority of attacks are due to an individual’s choices. Poor lifestyles such as excessive consumption of alcohol and obesity are known to lead to gout at some point in life. Regular use of some medications has also been linked to the onset of gout in elders. These medications include aspirin, chemotherapy medicines, and diuretic medications. The other factors known to predispose one to gout include: exposure to lead, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes also increases the risk, enzyme defect which inhibits the breakdown of purines in the body and organ transplant amongst others.

Managing gout in seniors

During severe bouts of gout in seniors, the sufferers will experience a low-grade fever and the affected areas will turn red, get inflamed and feel warm when touched. It is recommended that the affected joints should be elevated. Additionally, anti-inflammatory medicines are also recommended to manage the swelling. Physical contact with the affected joints is discouraged during the attacks since such may exert pressure on the joints and make it more painful. If the pain is really severe, then a doctor should prescribe pain medication for faster relief.

The best remedies for gout in seniors, however, involve major changes in their diet. It is recommended the elderly suffering from gout should drink a lot of water and eat lots of fresh foods, mainly complex carbohydrates as in fresh vegetables, legumes, beans, whole grain bread, pasta, and rice. Consumption of high protein foods and alcohol are also prohibited. Seniors can also supplement their gout diet with dietary supplements that help cleanse the liver and kidneys so uric acid is expelled more efficiently.

Spiro Koulouris

Gout and seniors

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