Gout is a type of complex arthritis which is caused by buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. A person suffering from it experiences sudden and severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints. The Joint at the base of the big toe is most commonly affected. More men than women are affected by it.
3D Medical Animation still of Gout infected hand
Some people may have no symptoms of Gout even though they have elevated levels of Uric Acid in their blood. Most people however, suffer from intense joint pain, redness, swelling, and a lot of tenderness in the joints. Even a light touch to the joint can cause excruciating pain. The range of motion of the joint also gets limited. The small joint at the base of the big toe is most commonly affected.Other joints that may get affected are knees, ankles, wrists, elbows and fingers.
The main cause of gout is high level of uric acid in the blood. Factors that increase the level of uric acid are diet, certain medical conditions, some medications, genetic predisposition, age and sex of the person. Eating a diet rich in meat and seafood , drinking beverages sweetened with fructose and excess alcohol consumption increase uric acid. Medical conditions such as kidney and thyroid problems, high blood pressure and diabetes increase the risk of gout. Medications like diuretics and cyclosporine can put a person at risk of it. Family history of gout increases the chances of having it. Men who are aged between 40 and 50 and post menopausal women are at an increased risk of it.
Treatment of gout usually involves medication. Drugs that are used to treat acute attacks and prevent future ones are nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen and colchicine. Doctors also prescribe Corticosteroids to people who cannot take either NSAIDs or Colchicine. These medicines aim at reducing pain and inflammation in the joints. Medications that help to block uric acid production such as allopurinol and medications that help the body to eliminate uric acid such as probenecid are also prescribed by doctors.
Besides medications, lifestyle changes also help in preventing. Limiting alcohol and drinks sweetened with fructose, reducing intake of food which increase uric acid in the blood such as red meat and seafood, keeping the body weight at a healthy level and exercising regularly all contribute towards reducing the risk of gout attacks.
Disclaimer: The information in no way constitutes, or should be construed as medical advice. Nor is the above article an endorsement of any research findings discussed in the article an endorsement for any of the source publications.
- Gout- Wikipedia
- What is Gout
- Gout Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Gout
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