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What Is Gout?

Severe Joint Pain
Severe Joint Pain

In the olden times, gout was also known as “The Kings Disease” or “Rich Mans Disease” due to their diet rich in meat and wine. This usually affects joints of the big toe and is characterized by red, hot, tender inflammation that causes severe joint pain making walking impossible. The term Gout is generally used to specify a variety of conditions due to uric acid build-up. This primer will give you an overview of gout.

Symptoms

In certain people, uric acid build-up results in classic symptoms whereas in others there are no symptoms and this is called asymptomatic gout. However, some people develop acute symptoms and uric acid crystals can last in joints up to 3 or 4 days.

Moreover, there won’t be any symptoms between the attacks which can mislead to believe that it is not severe. Because of this many people ignore and it develops into a chronic condition where hard lumps called tophi developing in the joints, soft tissues and the skin. This causes permanent damage to the joint. Therefore, timely intervention and treatment are very important to prevent a chronic condition.

Causes

Uric acid in the blood is due to breakdown of purines and there can be multiple reasons for uric acid build-up that eventually causes gout. Some of the reasons can be metabolism and blood disorders, dehydration due to multiple reasons can make the body produce more uric acid. Also, people with thyroid and renal problems will have difficulty in removing excess uric acid.

 However, certain kinds of foods that cause joint pain rich in purines such as red meat, seafood, alcohol, vegetables like green peas, spinach, cauliflower, pulses like lentils, lima beans can cause gout. Menopausal women, middle-aged men as well as those with family members with a history of gout will develop it. Certain health conditions like thyroid diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea can cause uric acid build-up. Above all certain kinds of medicines such as cyclosporine and diuretics can cause gout.

Diagnosis

It can be diagnosed with medical examination, disease description as well as a blood test that show urea levels above normal. The physician can test uric acid build up in your joints as well as take x-ray as part of the diagnosis. Moreover examining the fluid taken from the joint can show whether it contains uric acid build-up.

Treatment

The treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and if left untreated it can lead to arthritis that causes permanent damage to joints. The physician prescribes medicines to reduce inflammation and reduce uric acid levels in the blood. Along with medicines lifestyle changes such as loss of weight, exercise along with dietary changes is usually advised.

Therefore it is important to have a well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle with exercise to prevent uric acid build-up and gout.

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