Patient's Complete Guide to Gout

Overview of Gout

A gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can affect anyone and is extremely painful. It usually starts affecting one joint at a time (usually the big toe joint).

Signs and Symptoms of Gout

A gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can affect anyone and is extremely painful. It usually starts affecting one joint at a time (usually the big toe joint).

Overview

Gout is characterized by sudden severe pain attacks in which you feel like your foot is on fire. These sudden bursts of pain are called flares. They occur when the symptoms get worse. Flares are usually followed by remission. This is a phase when there are no symptoms.
Repeated bursts of gout can lead to gouty arthritis which is a complex form of arthritis. Through proper care and medication, this disease can be treated.

Types of Gout

Gout usually occurs in one joint at a time. The most commonly affected area of gout is the big toe but it can occur in other joints as well. The other affected areas can be ankle, knee, and other toe joints.
Look out for these symptoms of gout:

  • Very intense pain in the joint - apart from the big toe, the other affected area can be the knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers. The intense pain lasts for about four to twelve hours after it begins.
  • Swelling - the affected joint becomes swollen, warm, and tender
  • Limited movement - as the pain starts to build up, you may not be able to move and function properly.
  • Long-lasting - the pain lingers for a longer period even if it is not severe. It creates a general feeling of discomfort.
  • Immediately consult your general physician if you feel any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. Untreated gout can lead to worsened pain and permanent joint damage.

Causes of Gout

Some more-severe types of gout are:

  • Recurrent gout - gout can occur with or without any symptoms. You can have multiple gout attacks randomly. Medications can help with this recurrent gout.
  • Advanced gout - untreated gout causes several urate crystals deposits under the skin. They are generally not painful but become tender and swollen during a gout attack.
  • Another complication of gout is kidney stones. Urate crystals can cause kidney stones in some people.

Risk Factors of Gout

The abundance of uric acid in the body causes gout. The urate crystals gather in your joints causing inflammation and swelling. Uric acid is produced by the body when it breaks down Purines, a substance found in our meals.
Under normal circumstances, uric acid dissolves in our blood and passes through the kidney and into the urine. But, sometimes due to the overproduction of uric acid by the body or little excretion of uric acid by the kidneys, the level of uric acid shoots up from the normal range.
This causes a large quantity of urate crystal deposits around the affected joints.

Prevention

Gout occurs because of high levels of uric acid. Some of the factors which can increase the uric acid levels in boy are:

  • Unbalanced diet - diets rich in Fructose (sugar, like beverages), meat, and seafood can increase uric acid.
  • Alcohol - alcohol consumption and beer can also increase the risks of gout.
  • Obesity - if you’re overweight, your kidneys are under extra pressure and sometimes they do not function as effectively as they would do for a nonobese person. Kidneys do not excrete enough uric acid which starts depositing in the body.
  • Medical Conditions - underlying medical conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, and other digestive issues can lead to the imbalance in uric acid which increases the risks of gout.
  • Medication - certain medications like anti-rejection drugs and medicines used to treat hypertension can also increase uric acid levels in the body.
  • Family history - even if you initially have no sign of gout but have a family history of gout, you should be very cautious about your diet and physical well being.
  • Age and gender - men usually have higher levels of uric acid due to which men are likely to be more affected by this. Men aged between 30-50 show a higher tendency to fall prey to his disease. Women after menopause, develop larger uric acid levels which lead to gout in some cases.
  • Exposure to recent surgery or trauma - exposure to recent surgery or trauma is also associated with increasing the risks of a gout attack.

Diagnosis

Some lifestyle changes accompanied by some preventive measures can help you reduce the occurrences of gout attacks.

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Cut down alcohol/ beer consumption
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Cut down on processed meats and sugars
  • Increase your consumption of low-fat dairy products
  • Limit your seafood consumption

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Gout

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Dr. Hamza Alam

Speciality for Gout

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