Swollen knees are a common problem. Many refer to this as "water on the knee." Unfortunately, determining the cause of the swelling can be a difficult task and assumptions of a temporary injury should not be made, as it could be gout. Gout is a condition affecting more and more Americans every year and a swelling of the knee is a primary symptom of the condition. The consultation of a medical professional is required to successively ascertain if gout is the cause of your swollen knee. The procedure involved is relatively painless and involves taking some fluid from your swollen knee. This fluid is then analyzed for the presence of uric acid crystals. If they are present, you have just joined the ranks of gout sufferers all over the world, who have to deal with this painful condition with varying levels of success. There is no cure and all individuals can do is treat the symptoms, either by using colchicine medication or by sticking to a strict low-purine diet. There are many other gout treatments available and also gout remedies on this site, so please peruse through and see if there is anything that may help your gout.
Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the extremities or joints, resulting in symptoms such as swollen knees or toes. Uric acid aids digestion and helps cleanse the body of toxins, transporting waste out of the body. Gout is a result of a failure in this process. Gout attacks can be short or long in duration; with varying levels of pain and all that you can do is treat the symptoms. Hardly ideal, but with proper management and advice from your healthcare provider, the condition is certainly manageable.
Pseudogout has all the symptoms of actual gout and even uses colchicine as a treatment option but there is a difference in the composition of the crystal deposits involved. Gout involves deposits of uric acid crystals while pseudogout involves calcium crystals, that also can produce a swollen knee in the majority of instances, due to the inflammatory nature of the deposits involved. The diagnosis of pseudogout is similarly performed by diagnostic testing of fluid under a microscope.
Colchicine is the preferred treatment option for both gout and pseudogout and a diet change is often necessary, especially if the patient is overweight, prone to alcohol abuse or has large amounts of meat or fish in their diets. Links have also been made to the method of cooking used, with fried foods being more of a risk than foods that are boiled, for example. In many ways, a diet regimen for gout can be similar to that recommended for an ulcer, but the focus is on reducing the level of harmful purines in the diet. Purines are present in all plant and animal life, as part of their genetic framework, holding cells together but animal purines are more harmful for gout sufferers than plant purines.
Typical diets recommend less than 150mg of purines per day. Not an easy task when you consider that 3oz of liver could contain over 1000mg. Many complain about these diets, and regularly go through the pain of a swollen knee and other discomforts in order to enjoy their meals. While it may be commendable that they have such strong beliefs and are prepared to suffer for short-term pleasures, it should be understood that gout is not just a painful discomfort and is a medical condition. Without sensible treatment and management, symptoms become worse as time goes on, and risks of tissue, joint and tendon damage are possible. There is also growing concerns that gout can lead to heart failure and some organ failure.
Treatment with medication such as colchicine can be effective if taken as soon as symptoms present. Cochicine will be of little benefit once a gout attack is in progress since the drug is not classed as a painkiller and will not reduce crystal levels in your swollen knee. Once diagnosed with gout, the condition is manageable, and taking tablets on a regular basis will help to prevent symptoms becoming too severe, restricting the buildup of crystals responsible for the pain and swelling involved. Your healthcare provider will recommend the dosage necessary and this should be maintained for optimum effect. Most gout suffers will take pills at most a few times each day (for acute gout disorders) and others will perhaps take a pill every couple of days. The approach adopted will depend on the level of pain experienced and how often you experience discomfort. Other physical issues can cause a swollen knee but if you have not been involved in a contact sport or accident then gout could well be your problem. Seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible and your ongoing battle with the condition will be an easier one. Changing your lifestyle and diet may also be necessary but this is a small price to pay for a comfortable life. Self-diagnosis of a swollen knee is pointless and is discouraged. Visit your clinic or healthcare provide immediately. I must note, that you MUST ask your doctor or physician about long term side effects for any medicine taken for gout, you must also be upfront and also inform your doctor what medicine you are currently taking and see if there is a danger of mixing drugs. All drugs are synthetic, they will have many side effects and potential dangers when taking them long term or taking gout drugs when also taking medicine for other conditions. It is up to you to ask the right questions. No one else cares about you except you and your immediate family when it comes to your health.
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