08 July, 2011
Is Calcium Good for Gout?
A vast majority of the time, calcium is good for your body and is essential in building and maintaining healthy bones and joints. However, calcium can cause a great deal of pain in some individuals. This condition is known as pseudogout, which mimics the symptoms of gout. According to MayoClinic.com, calcium is not one of the treatment methods or pain relief methods for individuals suffering from gout.
Pseudogout is an arthritis condition that causes sudden and painful swelling in one or multiple joints in your body. Those with pseudogout may also experience warmth at the joints. Symptoms may flare up for days or weeks, according to MayoClinic.com. This condition commonly occurs in the knees and in older adults. Pseudogout occurs when calcium crystals form in the fluid that lines your joints. Pseudogout is also known as calcium pyrophoshate deposition.
While it is unclear why calcium crystals form in your joints, these crystals cannot be removed or eliminated. However, there are ways to treat the pain and reduce inflammation when you experience flare-ups of pseudogout. Your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications such as colchicine -- which is another medication that reduces inflammation. Your doctor may also recommend injections to relieve inflammation or joint aspiration to remove some of the fluid in your joints. Activity modification and rest are also recommended when you experience a pseudogout flare-up.
Gout is a complex arthritis that causes sudden and severe attacks. Symptoms include pain, redness and tenderness of the joints. MayoClinic.com indicates gout often occurs at the base of your large toe. Gout occurs when urate crystals form in your joints -- urate crystals occur as the result of high levels of uric acid in your bloodstream. Uric acid helps to break down purines -- substances found in foods such as asparagus and mushrooms. When uric acid builds up in your body, crystals form in joints and tissues, causing gout.
Gout cannot be cured, but it can be treated, although it is not possible to know when you are going to experience a gout flare-up. Your doctor may recommend that you use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to control pain and inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can also help to prevent further attacks of gout when taken regularly. Corticosteroid injections may be given to control pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help regulate uric acid in your bloodstream.
While calcium cannot help to control or prevent flare-ups of gout or pseudogout, you should consume calcium based on dietary guidelines. Too much calcium can cause the formation of crystals, while too little calcium can cause osteoporosis and increased instances of fractures. The National Institutes of Health recommends 1,200 mg of calcium daily for adults over the age of 71. Females between the ages of 51 and 70 should consume 1,200 mg while men should consume 1,000 mg. Adults ages 19 to 50 should consume 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Children ages 9 to 18 should consume 1,300 mg. Children ages 4 to 8 should consume 1,000 mg daily. Children ages 1 to 3 should consume 700 mg. Children in the first seven to 12 months of life should intake 260 mg on a daily basis. Those up to 6 months old should receive 200 mg.
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