What is gout?
Gout is particularly a term which is referred for a number of conditions caused because of uric acid buildup in the body, this buildup generally causes issues to feet.
If a person is suffering from gout then he may experience swelling and pain at the joint areas of his or her foot. Specifically at the big toe area. Unexpected and severe pain and gout attacks are able to make a patient feel that his or her foot is on fire.
Symptoms of gout
In some specific cases, persons with even high levels of uric acid present in their bloodstream do not experience any kind of pain. This type of condition is known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia.
In acute cases of gout symptoms get visible at a very early stage because of the uric acid buildup and remain for three to ten days.
Patients with gout usually experience severe pain and swelling, and it is also possible that they may feel hot in their joints. The patients suffering from gout attacks generally do not experience any kind of symptoms in them.
If gout will not be treated it is possible that it may get chronic. It is very much possible that hard lymph like structures which are known as tophi will be formed in your joint and it’s surrounding skin. This buildup of gout is able to damage your joints permanently.
Test and diagnosis
Diagnosing gout is one of the most challenging tasks for many doctors because its symptoms appear very much similar to many other diseases and conditions. Many patients with gout have hyperuricemia because of which they remain undiagnosed for a long time.
For the diagnosis of gout many doctors check the levels of uric acid in the patients blood and the urate crystals in fluids of their joints fluid.
In order to check the levels of uric acid in the patients blood doctors will perform blood tests and also take the fluid out from the joints which are affected for performing tests on it.
Additionally they will also search for urate crystals around the affected joints of the patients with the ultrasound scan. Only ultrasound scan is used for the detection of gout because X-rays are not capable for the detection of gout, still doctors perform X-rays for finding out other possible causes.
Doctors will also check for bacteria through performing the joint fluid test and for curing the cause of the bacteria because joint infections also have the same symptoms as gout.
Type of gout
Several stages of gout development are present.
This is the type of gout in which any kind of symptoms are not visible even if the patient is having high levels of uric acid in their blood. Treatment is quite necessary for the patients in this condition because high levels of uric acid can damage their tissue silently.
In this kind of gout urate crystals get formed in joints and severe pain and inflammation. This severe pain and inflammation can remain from three days to two weeks. Acute gout attacks can be caused by the excessive stress or consumption of excess alcohol.
Interval or intercritical gout
This type of gout occurred during the period of attacks of acute gout. With the progression of the persons gout these periods of attacks of acute gout gets shorter. In the middle of this period it may be possible that urine crystals will keep on getting buildup in tissue.
Chronic tophaceous gout
Chronic tophaceous gout is the type of gout which is the most dangerous among all types of gout because it is able to cause permanent damages to your kidneys and joints. After getting affected by this type of gout some issues like development of chronic arthritis and tophi seen in most of the patients.
The chronic tophaceous gout particularly occurs after many years of suffering from acute gout attacks. But, if patients with acute gout receive proper health treatment then they may not progress to this stage.
The conditions because of which most of the experts commonly get confused is decompression of calcium pyrophosphate, also known as pseudogout. Symptoms caused due to pseudogout are generally very much similar to symptoms of gout, but these are less severe than the symptoms of gout. It requires different treatment than gout.
Causes of gout
The gout is caused due to the buildup of uric acid in the blood of a person from the breakdown of purines.
Some other conditions are also able to cause your body to produce high amounts of uric acid such as metabolism and blood disorders.
It will be harder for your body to remove excessive amounts of uric acid if you have kidney or thyroid problems or any type of hereditary disorder.
If any person consist any of these criteria then he or she will be at higher risk of gout development:
- Any of his or her family members have the gout.
- Excessive alcohol intake.
- High levels of medications such as diuretics and cyclosporine.
- Suffering from conditions such as kidney disease, high blood pressure or thyroid.
- If he or she is middle-aged man or postmenopausal women respectively.
In some people gout is also caused due to consumption of food which are high in gout causing purines.
Home remedies for preventing gout
A person can prevent gout with the help of a balanced diet.
For the prevention of gout it is recommended to reduce the amount of foods and drinks which are high purines.
Some food which contains high purine level and should be avoided includes:
- Red meat
- Sea food
- High fructose corn syrup made foods and drinks
- Game meats
- Glandular meats
The risk of gout development can be reduced by avoiding excessive intake of purine rich food. But, it is not necessary to avoid purine rich food all together. Intake of purine rich food in balanced amounts can be helpful for managing gout symptoms, uric acid levels and providing benefits to overall dietary health.
Gout is a type of arthritis which is caused because of inflammation of joints. One of the most appropriate ways for a person who is suffering from gout is to try general arthritis home treatment such as maintaining healthy weight, staying active and performing low impact exercises for maintaining joint health.
Treatment for gout
If the patient will leave gout untreated then it is very much possible that it may result in gouty arthritis. Gouty arthritis is one of the most severe forms of arthritis. The patient’s joints can be permanently damaged or it will remain swollen forever because of this painful condition caused by gouty arthritis.
Doctors will suggest the patient’s treatment plan depending upon the stage and severity of their gout.
One of the ways for the treatment of gout are medications. Medications particularly work for reducing pain or swelling or either preventing future attacks of gout by bringing down the uric acid levels in the blood.
Medications which can be used for reducing of pain or swelling includes:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Medications which can be used for bringing down the uric acid levels in the blood includes:
- Xanthine oxidase inhibitors
In addition with medications, doctors will also suggest patients to make changes in their lifestyle for reducing the risks of their future gout attacks and managing symptoms of gout.
Lifestyle changes includes:
- Losing weight if you are overweight.
- Avoiding alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
Along with them some complementary therapies can also be suggested.
Is gout painful?
In simple words, yes gout is very much painful. Usually pain in the big toe is the first symptom of gout. Many more typical arthritis symptoms are also experienced by the patient of gout like feeling hot in joints.
Pain caused by gout can differ depending upon the severity of the gout. Particularly the pain and other symptoms of gout is the result of the body’s defense mechanism because of the immune system in order to oppose the crystals and uric acid in the joints. This defense mechanism of the body results in the production of the chemical called cytotoxic lines which is responsible for causing painful inflammation.
Specifically gout is the common type of arthritis which badly affects the joints. It can result in swelling and overwhelming pain. This condition is more common in male as compared with females.
When the levels of uric acid get increased in blood this condition is known as hyperuricemia. A person may experience hyperuricemia when an excessive amount of urine gets produced in their body or their kidneys are unable for the excretion of uric acid effectively from their body.
For the treatment of gout many doctors will prescribe some specific medications. These medications will be helpful for reducing the inflammation in the joints and maintaining the levels of uric acid in the blood.
People can avoid the risk of gout development by reducing the intake of high purine rich food which is later converted by the body into uric acid, staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol and smoking.