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Why Gout Flare ups Occur at Night

January 16, 2013 by Mayank.

If you have just been struck by an attack of gout for the first time, you may be worried that the brutal pain you experienced is something strange, unusual and perhaps a symptom of a frightening life-changing medical condition. However, the good news is that gout is none of these. It is one of the better understood afflictions, first identified by physicians more than 2,000 years ago. Although the pain is excruciating, there are remedies to mitigate its long-term effects and stay strong and healthy. As a patient, though, the first thing you should do is understand your condition better. Particularly, you should know what causes gout to flare up, especially at night.

What Causes Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis, and its underlying cause is unusually high levels of uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid leads to the development of urate crystals in certain joints, which in turn causes the intense pain, inflammation and redness. While most people experience gout in one of their big toes, it may afflict other joints as well, such as the ankle, knee, fingers or elbow.

Night Attacks and your Diet

If you talk to physicians and other patients of gout, a common observation you will encounter is that most gout attacks strike at night. This is no coincidence. There are a couple of major reasons why this happens.

To begin with, the tendency of night occurrences is linked to the fact that your diet is one of the major causes of this condition. Certain foods, such as red meats, liver, mushrooms, asparagus and sardines, encourage the production of uric acid in the blood. Alcohol, diuretics, and a few other medicines have the same effect as well. Consequently, a particularly strong attack at night may well be triggered by the food and drinks you consumed over the day. If you had too much alcohol and red meat for instance, your body would be particularly vulnerable. As someone who has encountered gout, you need to pay particular attention to your diet, and strictly regulate your consumption of food and drinks that cause the production of excess uric acid.

Immobilization at Night

Another major reason why your joints are most vulnerable to gout while you sleep is the lack of activity during those hours. Your joints are immobilized for several hours at a stretch, and this cools them down. This cooling provides the right environment for the production of urate crystals. Also, while you move about during the day, the synovial fluid in your joints keeps them clean off crystals. However, the synovial fluid is not operational at night while your whole body is at complete rest.

Ultimately, the lesson is the same: you need to know how to manage your diet, lifestyle and medications, in order to regulate the levels of uric acid in your blood. Since gout is such a common condition worldwide, any competent physician should be able to understand the extent of your affliction, as well as help you manage and cure the problem.


Filed under: Gout Suffers, Gout Food Diet, Gout Causes and Symptoms.

Tags: gout flare up, attack of gout, causes gout, arthritis, night attacks, diet, gout attacks.


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