What is Gout? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.

What is Gout?
Effects of gout on feet

What is gout? it is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that is very painful. It usually affects one joint at a time. Extra uric in the body create sharp crystals in the joints. It causes episodes of swelling and pain. Gout is treatable with medications and changes in diet and lifestyles. It typically affects the big toe. Gout has a unique distinction of being one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses in history. Gout attacks can come on quickly and may keep recurring over time.

Symptoms.

  • Intense joint pain.
  • Lingering discomfort.
  • Swelling.
  • Stiffness.
  • Tenderness.
  • Fever

However, the attacks can last a week or more.

Causes of gout.

Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in the joints causing inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. The human body makes uric acid during the breakdown of chemicals called purines. This normal by-product goes through the kidney and exits the body when peeing. If a person produces too much uric acid, it can build up and form needle-like crystals. This triggers inflammation and pain in the joints and surrounding tissue.

Treatment.

Relieve symptoms during an attack- this can be done using ice packs and by taking medication. Prevent further attacks- through a combination of lifestyle changes, such as losing weight. In addition, taking medication that lowers uric acid levels such as allopurinol. Patients with chronic gout can use behavioral modification such as diet to help minimize the frequency of attacks. So patients with chronic gout are put on medications such as colchicine.

Diagnosis.

Doctors usually diagnose gout based on the symptoms. The test that helps to diagnose goit include:

Joint fluid test- doctor uses a needle to draw fluid from the affected joint. However, rate crystals may be visible when the fluid is examined under a microscope.

Blood test- doctor recommends a blood test to measure the levels of uric acid in the blood. However, blood test results can be misleading.

Home remedies.

Choose healthier beverages- limit alcoholic beverages. Instead, drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages.

Avoid foods high in purines- red meat and organ meats, such as liver are high in purines. Moreover, low-fat dairy products may be a better source of protein for people prone to this illness.

Exercise regularly and lose weight – keeping the body healthy weight reduces the risk of gout. Choose low-impact activities such as walking and swimming.