Ho Chi Minh CityA 37-year-old man living in Binh Chanh was carried to the hospital on the 9th of Tet by his family members because of swelling and pain in the big toe and ankle joints.
The patient said that during the Tet holiday, he drank a lot of alcohol almost every day. Early in the morning of the 5th, he felt pain and swelling in his right big toe. Two days later, his left big toe and ankle were painfully swollen, and his joints were so painful that he couldn’t walk on his own.
When going to the doctor, the patient did not dare to let the doctor touch the joint for fear of pain. About a year ago, he had a similar episode of joint pain and swelling. After about a week of treatment, the symptoms resolved on their own, so he thought he was cured.
Assoc. Prof. TS.BS Nguyen Dinh Khoa (Head of Internal Medicine Department, Cho Ray Hospital) said that this is one of the many gout patients who come to visit after the Tet holiday. Many severe cases require hospitalization. There are people who are diagnosed with the disease for the first time, there are also patients who have had gout before and have recurrent attacks during or right after the Tet holiday.
According to Doctor Khoa, the Lunar New Year, with a long rest period, is an opportunity for everyone to gather and enjoy many delicious dishes. For people who have gout or have been pre-existing high uric acid in the blood for a long time, they may face the risk of “losing joy” in the middle because of intense gout attacks right during or after Tet holidays, if not. take appropriate prevention and treatment measures.
Gout is a disease caused by a disorder of purine metabolism in the body, leading to the deposition of urate salt crystals in the joints and some other organs, causing recurrent episodes of joint pain and swelling. “The initial attacks of gouty arthritis are common in the big toe, ankle, and knee joints are often very terrible, causing pain like being stabbed by a knife into the joint,” said Doctor Khoa. Pain often comes very suddenly, even during or after a big party or a good night’s sleep.
If left untreated, these attacks of arthritis tend to recur and often progress to chronic polyarthritis, which is nodules in many places and can cause kidney stones, kidney failure, and kidney failure. other complications. Although the disease is most common in men, middle-aged and older, younger men and women, often in the post-menopausal age, can also get it.
Doctor Khoa noted, once diagnosed with gout, patients need to have a reasonable treatment regimen, combining changes in diet, living and using some specific drugs to treat the disease on a regular basis. frequent and long-term, even in the absence of symptoms. The treatment of the disease will include two main issues: controlling and preventing arthritis episodes (with anti-inflammatory drugs) and lowering uric acid levels in the blood through adjusting the diet and using drugs. lower blood uric acid. Specific treatment measures will be prescribed by the doctor depending on the stage and condition as well as the patient’s location.
To prevent recurrent attacks of gouty arthritis during or after Tet, patients and those at risk of disease need to continue to maintain the treatment drugs prescribed by their doctors, do not quit or take drugs irregularly. Stopping the medication suddenly, at any time, carries the risk of a flare-up. It is best to have a follow-up visit before Tet, if necessary, a doctor will give you a test to check blood uric acid levels, liver and kidney function so that the doctor can evaluate and adjust the medicine if necessary.
People with gout, including those with hyperuricemia simply need to pay attention to their eating and drinking, especially on special occasions such as holidays and Tet. Hearty meals, containing too much protein, plus the constant drinking of alcohol during the New Year’s Day will cause a sudden increase in uric acid levels in the blood, which is a good condition for gout to appear, even while taking medication.
Therefore, whether on weekdays or on New Year’s Day, it is necessary to avoid eating foods that are too high in protein such as red meat (beef, lamb, goat, wild game…). Limit molluscs (shrimp, crab, oysters, some fish such as herring, mullet, sardines…), mushrooms, beans, sprouts. Absolutely avoid eating animal viscera, blood pudding, chicken nuggets, duck seeds. Limit drinking alcohol and sweet drinks such as syrup, carbonated soft drinks. If it is necessary to celebrate the new year, a little wine can be enjoyed.
People with gout need to maintain drinking enough water daily, increase eating green vegetables and fresh fruits, especially vegetables rich in vitamin C and can drink milk, eat yogurt normally. Continue to maintain reasonable control of meals so as not to gain weight after Tet if you are overweight.
Doctor Khoa recommends that if the joints are swollen and painful, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible or contact a doctor who has been examining and treating for a long time for timely treatment. The sooner gout attacks are treated, the higher the effectiveness of the treatment and the shorter the duration of joint pain and swelling.
Temporary remedy for joint pain relief
While waiting for the doctor’s appointment, for temporary pain relief, the patient can continue to take the gout medications prescribed by a specialist before if they are still taking them. If you don’t have medication, but your joints are very painful and you can’t go to the hospital, you can buy a temporary non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (OTC) with the recommended dose on the label, if there are no special problems with your health. stomach, kidney disease or cardiovascular disease. Ideally, any medication should be taken under the guidance of a doctor.
Let the arthritis joint rest by lying in bed, minimizing joint movement, avoiding walking and putting pressure on the painful joint. Remove shoes and wear loose clothing to prevent clothing from rubbing against painful joints.
When lying down, it is advisable to elevate the inflamed joint slightly above the bed, such as resting the painful leg on a pillow.
Apply cold by using ice wrapped in a cloth to gently apply or apply it around the painful swollen joint for about 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day while the joint is still swollen, painful, red and very red.
Drink a lot of water, absolutely abstain from alcohol and follow the above diet.
When the arthritis is stable, continue to maintain the treatment of gout according to the indications and instructions of the specialist.