Maybe for you and a million others, the ankle is a common site for a gout flare and can be the most debilitating. If you are here because you’re asking yourself, what is gout?, know this: Excess uric acid crystallizes to cause gout pain and specifically, the symptoms of gout in the ankle.
Purines are normal substances found in all foods, and during the metabolic process they are converted into uric acid. In addition to purines from food being processed by the body, the body makes a large percentage of the purine present in the cells themselves.
Ankle gout is just one of many joints in the body that can be the sight of a gouty event. The true cause for gout in the ankle however, is due to temporary poor kidney function.
The kidneys are the organ that is responsible for maintaining pH balance of the body chemistry; if gout is flaring, the kidneys need some assistance to regain their proper function.
The First Twinge of Stiffness or Dull Ache
Gout ankle starts with a twinge of pain or a dull ache. Then along with the pain, stiffness starts to set in – these are the first signs of gout and the alarm to take action. These gout symptoms in the ankle will only quickly get worse if left unattended.
The reason that an attack grows slowly, is because more and more uric acid continues to crystallize. Taking measures to “alkalize” – neutralize the acidity – helps to dissolve the crystals that have already formed, but more importantly, helps to keep the uric acid in solution and keep it from crystallizing in the first place.
Slow Growing Pain
As ankle gout symptoms continue to worsen, the pain becomes intense, then perfectly unbearable. In the same way that chronic injury from twisting an ankle can weaken and bring long-term, permanent damage, so too can chronic gout in the ankle joint.
As stated earlier, if ignored and unattended, the gout symptoms in the ankle progress, the skin takes on a shiny redness, and the entire area becomes hot to the touch. This condition of heat can persist throughout the body, resulting in fever.
Inflammation and Swelling
If unchecked, the inflammation will bring a shocking amount of swelling that accompanies the heat and redness of ankle gout. This is a dangerously advanced degree of a gout attack; not only is serious joint damage a threat, but also this high level of uric acid in the body is a great risk for the kidneys.
Debilitating Ankle Gout
Gout in the ankle is possibly the most debilitating joint of all to have an attack. The pain that comes from the attack on all the delicate bone structure of the ankle is excruciating – walking is almost impossible and crutches become a reality for many people.
Treating Gout Ankle
If ankle gout has progressed to this advanced stage of attack, aggressive measures to alkalize are in order:
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is the fastest way to introduce alkalinity to the inner body environment
- Apple cider vinegar is alkaline-forming when ingested which helps to reverse the severe effects of the over-acidic condition
- Soaking the ankle in warm water and Epsom salts is directly alkalizing in a “localized” way for the gout-ravaged ankle joint
- Alternating the Epsom salt soaks with icing the ankle in towel-wrapped icepacks helps to relieve swelling and inflammation
- Alkalizing foods like celery, bananas, and cherries add to the neutralization process
- Large doses of vitamin C create rapid and significant antioxidant action to help cellular health and function, during an attack
- Lastly, the effectiveness of ibuprofen is magnified when the inner body terrain has had a chance to move in the healthier direction of alkalinity
Preventing Future Ankle Gout Symptoms
After surviving an arduous bout of gout ankle, keeping the body in a state of greater health by keeping the body chemistry on the more alkaline side is wise. Minimizing the causes of gout can be done in several ways:
- Strong breathing awareness and habits keep the blood healthy and oxygenated
- Maintaining consistent hydration is essential for proper pH balance
- A diet of alkalizing foods, and foods that support strong kidney and liver function is fundamental
- Managing stress is important for minimizing the effects of acid-forming hormones in the inner terrain
- Being aware of, and avoiding toxic environmental chemicals is a good way to retard the slow accumulation of low-level toxicity from seemingly mundane household products
- Consistent exercise and sleep are the basics to health, and obvious and easy measures to employ for guarding against the risk of gout
When symptoms of gout in the ankle start to become apparent, it is critical to take fast action.
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