✓ Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused high content of uric acid in the body.
✓ The painful flare-up is highly centred in the big toe (a symptom known as podagra), as well as inflammation and pain in the ankles, knees, feet, wrists or elbows.
✓ Flare-ups last days in the commencement, but can become gradually longer. Left unprocessed, gout can cause enduring harm to joints and kidneys.
✓ Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused by an elevation of serum uric acid levels that cause crystals to accumulate in the joints, which bring on a gout flare.
✓ Uric acid is a useless by product formed on the process of the normal breakdown of purines, naturally occurring substances found in foods such as liver, mushrooms, anchovies, mackerel and dried beans. It is the main cause for gout.
✓ Uric acid is generally disembowelled out of the blood by the kidneys, and passes out of the body along with urine. However, great concentrated levels of uric acid can gather in the body, either when the kidneys expel too slight amount of uric acid or when the body harvests too much uric acid. This disorder is known as hyperuricemia.
✓ The high concentration of uric acid in the blood will ultimately convert the acid into urate crystals, which can then store around the joints and soft tissues.
✓ Deposits of the needle-like urate crystals are accountable for the swelling and the painful indications of gout.
Major symptoms of gout are:
1) Intense joint pain that is most severe in the first 12 to 24 hours
2) Joint pain that lasts a few days to a few weeks and spreads to more joints over time
3) Redness, tenderness and swelling of the joints
Test and diagnosis:
✓ While gout has painful and characteristic symptoms during flare-ups, its symptoms are imprecise during other times. A doctor may extract a sample of joint fluid so it can be inspected under a microscope for any occurrence of urate crystals.
✓ Certain joint infections can harvest symptoms comparable to gout. If an infection is so-called, the doctor may check joint fluid for bacteria.
✓ Blood tests can expose the concentration of uric acid in the blood and further authorize the diagnosis. However, blood tests can be confusing, because some gout patients do not have an uncommon level of uric acid in their blood, and some people with high levels of uric acid do not go on to ripen the gout.
✓ Other than a blood test and joint fluid tests, X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans may be used to confirm a diagnosis.
Acute gout may remain for three to 10 days, with or without medical support. Some people have only one attack in their lifetime, but improper treatment or aunexpected sudden change in your diet and risk factors, attacks may happen multiple times a year.
Gout is most commonly seen in men, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 50. It is a very common disease. Certain factors causing gout are:
1) Having a family history of gout
2) Being overweight
3) Having kidney problems
4) Lead exposure
5) Drinking too much alcohol
6) Taking certain medications like diuretics or niacin
✓ Patients need to know that their serum uric acid level should be less than the target of 6 mg/dl. While gout cannot be healed, it can be better coped, or even well-ordered entirely, with the right medicines and lifestyle choices.
✓ In most cases, long-term medications for dropping the levels of uric acid will be used to treat gout and avert flares gout. Generally, patients with gout will need to be on these drugs for life. If they stay on them over time, their gout symptoms and risk of deformity or disability will be greatly decreased.
Gout is a serious and painful disease which can potentially be debilitating and life threatening if untreated. Fortunately today, using modern medicine and diet, most people who suffer from gout do not develop to the fourth and most disabling stage of the disease. Almost all of the approximately two million people who are afflicted with gout are able to control their symptoms and live productive lives.