Gout (Kaw Taw Vwm)

This the Season….for Gout! The Attack of the Crazy Foot!

True story I tell you! In many documented cases, gout starts on the big toe and then migrates to the ankle or maybe the knee, the elbow, the finger…no joint is safe. As a child growing up in Hmong community, we have all heard stories of the “Crazy Foot” or ko taw vwm. It was always an uncle, brother, father or grandfather that was limping around because they had a “crazy foot”, but what is this “crazy foot” they talk about and could you be at risk?

“Crazy Foot” or ko taw vwm is also known as Gout. Gout is a type of arthritis that causes severe and sudden attacks of inflammation and painful tenderness in joints. It has been said that the touch of a bed sheet on the big toe of an active Gout attack suffer is incredibly painful.

Why does Gout occur?

Gout occurs when there is too much uric acid crystal build up on your joints. Generally uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.

How does a person get gout? Are you at risk?
There are many causes to Gout as described by the Mayo Clinic website, they are:

* Lifestyle factors. Choices you make in your everyday life may increase your risk of gout. Excessive alcohol use — generally more than two drinks a day for men and more than one for women — increases the risk of gout.
* Medical conditions. Certain diseases and conditions make it more likely that you’ll develop gout. These include untreated high blood pressure (hypertension) and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and narrowing of the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
* Certain medications. The use of thiazide diuretics — commonly used to treat hypertension — and low-dose aspirin also can increase uric acid levels. So can the use of anti-rejection drugs prescribed for people who have undergone an organ transplant.
* Family history of gout. If other members of your family have had gout, you’re more likely to develop the disease.
* Age and sex. Gout occurs more often in men than it does in women, primarily because women tend to have lower uric acid levels than men do. After menopause, however, women’s uric acid levels approach those of men. Men also are more likely to develop gout earlier — usually between the ages of 40 and 50 — whereas women generally develop signs and symptoms after menopause.

How to treat and prevent?
Web MD suggests, you will want to make sure to visit your doctor to evaluation the degree of your gout attack. They will determine the best remedy for you. May it be a shot of corticosteroids or pain medicine to cope with the pain.
Other ways to ease the pain during a gout attack are to rest the joint that hurts. Take ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medicine, however do be careful to not take any medicines that will make gout worse by raising the uric acid level in the blood. Please consult your doctor before taking any kinds of medication.


To prevent future attacks, your doctor can prescribe a medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in your blood. If your doctor prescribes medicine to lower your uric acid levels, be sure to take it as directed. Most people continue to take this medicine for the rest of their lives.
By paying attention to what you eat may help you manage your gout. Moderate amounts of a healthy mix of foods will help control your weight and get the nutrients you need. Avoid regular daily intake of meat, seafood, and alcohol. Drink plenty of water and other fluids and exercise regularly.
As the holidays approach and pass, share the websites below and this information with an uncle, brother, father or grandfather. Let this be a Gout Free and Crazy Foot Free Season!

The information provided in this article was retrieved from the following articles:<>

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jenny Xiong

    October 8, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Interesting article. There is actually research showing that the Hmong have higher rates of gout than compared to their white counterparts. The Hmong also develop gout at much younger ages than other ethnic groups. Some ways to prevent or avoid gout development: stay hydrated, avoid high volume of alcoholic intake and if you are concerned, please ask your doctor!

    Stay healthy and safe!

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