Gout - Health Center


By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Gout - Overview

Gout as a disease has always been characterized with sudden as well as severe attacks of pain and redness with tenderness across the joints of one’s body. This condition often rises in the joint of the base of the big toe. Gout has emerged as one of the most complex forms of arthritis. It can affect anyone.

The research has suggested that men are more likely to be affected by Gout as compared to women. However, once menopause has set in, then women become more susceptible towards developing the disease. An acute attack of gout has known to wake up people in the middle of night. They get afflicted by the sensation that the big toe on their feet is almost on fire.

Also, the affected joint of their toe comes out to be swollen as well as develop tenderness that even mere the sensation of a light thing can come out to be intolerable to them.

However, whatever the case may be, gout happens to be a disease that can be treated easily and there are always present the ways via which people can reduce the risks for the occurrence of the disease.

Causes for the Occurence of Gout

Gout is generally caused when there is an accumulation of the crystals within the joints of the afflicted person. This can come out to cause a great deal of inflammation and can cause an intense case of a gout attack. With the formation of the urate crystals in the body, there is a high accumulation of the uric acid in the blood. With the production of the uric acid in the body, there is a breakdown of the purines. These purines are the substances which are naturally found in the body as well as in certain food products such as meats, herring as well as asparagus and mushrooms.

Usually the uric acid in the blood dissolved and then passes out of the body via urine. However, in some of the cases when the body produces a large amount of uric acid, then the kidneys find it hard to excrete the uric acid. This is the reason why the acid gets built up in the body and goes out to form the sharp needle like crystals of urate around the tissues of the joints. This formation is the one which is responsible for the pain as well as swelling of the joints.

Symptoms of Gout

The signs as well as the symptoms for Gout are the ones that are found in an acute form and are known to be found suddenly in the patients, without any prior warning.

Some of the major symptoms are as follows:

  1. Intense pain in the joints:  Since gout is a disease that affects the large joints of the big toe, which is the reason why it causes great pain in the feet, ankles, knees as well as the hands. Also, this pain tends to be more severe within the first 12 hours of its development.
  2. Lingering of the discomfort: With the subsiding of the major pain, the joint discomfort goes out to persist. Also, this discomfort can found to last from a few days to a few weeks. These attacks are the ones that last for a long duration of time.
  3. Inflammation and Redness: The affected regions of the body tend to become reddened, inflamed as well as tender with the passage of time.

Risk Factors for Gout

The likelihood of a person to develop Gout is increased to a great extent if the patient has a high content of uric acid in their bloodstream.

However, these are some of the factors that can increase the uric acid of the person:

  1. Lifestyle of a person: The choices that a person makes in his life are some of the major factors that influence the quantity of uric acid. With the excessive consumption of alcohol, the risk of gout development is increased.
  2. Medical conditions: Some profound medical conditions are responsible for the development of gout in people. For instance if a patient has hypertension or diabetes, high content of fat and cholesterol, he is at a greater risk for developing gout as compared to his counterparts.
  3. Medications: certain medications such as thiazide diuretics are the ones which can increase the level of uric acid in the body. Also, with the use of the anti rejection drugs, a person can develop the condition of high uric acid.
  4. Family History: People suffering from a family history of Gout are the ones which are at a higher risk of developing uric acid.
  5. Age and sex:  Gout occurs more in men as compared to women. Women have a lower amount of uric acid as compared to men. However, this tends to change after women have attained menopause.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gout

When a person suffering from Gout undergoes sudden as well as intense pain in the joints, he should be seeking immediate medical care and should see his doctor in order to reduce the risks of infection that could creep in at a later stage.

The treatment of Gout always includes medications. The choice of medications can be chosen depending on the stage of the patient as well as their own preferences.

Some of the major mediations that are needed for the treatments of Gout are as follows:

  1. NSAID’s – Also known as Non steroidal Anti – Inflammatory Drugs, these are best known in order to control the inflammation as well as pain. A higher dose of the same can also be prescribed in order to get rid of an acute pain. NSAID’s are sold over the counters and are often known to carry the risks of stomach pain and bleeding.
  2. Colchicine – They are a kind of pain reliever that are known to decrease the gout pain. This can be started on the patient as soon as the symptoms of the disease appear. They are very effective drugs, but they tend to have some side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
  3. Corticosteroids – They are known to control the gout inflammation as well as pain. They are often administered in the form of pills or can be injected directly into the joints. They are reserved for the patients who cannot take the NSAID’s and colchicines.

Side effects of the same can come out to include the thinning of the bones, slow healing of the wounds as well as a decreased immune system. Doctors prescribe the lowest deal of the medication in order to control the symptoms of the disease.

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