Gout is a disease resulting from excessive uric acid leading to arthritic attacks. Overload of uric acid in the blood can form uric acid crystals that may be deposited in the tendons, joints, skins as well as other tissues. This also forms kidney stones. Excess in uric acid are caused by abnormal metabolism of uric acid. Some people who have gout produce too much uric acid (over-producers) while others are not capable of discharging the uric acid when they urinate (under-excreters). Gout can be primary (those that occur alone) or secondary (those that are related with other medical conditions).
What factors lead to the development of gout?
Unhealthy lifestyle is one of the known causes of gout. People who are obese are prone to have the risk. Intake of alcoholic beverages increases the threat of gout development in addition to too much consumption of red meats, yeast, internal organs and oily fish.
Some people inherit this disease while others resulted from the elevation of uric acid due to intake of medications. Moreover, specific diseases such as lymphomas, hemoglobin disorders, and leukemia lead to excessive generation of uric acid which leads to gout. Based from research, gout is nine times more common in men than women. In fact, right after puberty, men is already prone to develop this disease while women commonly have this after their menopausal period.
Once you feel a red, hot, swollen joint at the base of your big toe, it is more likely that you may develop gout. However, to make sure, doctors usually take a syringe and needle to get a sample of uric acid in the joint for further examination. High level of uric acid may be a symptom of gout risk.
Patients can have fever when acute gout attacks. Pain can also be felt in fingers, knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows. With or without medication, pain usually subsides in hours to days. Many people with gout bears the painful repeated attacks for many years.
Those who have experienced the symptoms of gout better takes treatment because this may be due to cartilage loss in the joint, infection, and the like. A shot of corticosteroids given by a physician can end the pain caused by gout attack. Daily doses of one or more medicines will be prescribed to you by your doctor. Oftentimes, relief can be felt within 24 hours once treatment is started especially when it is done right away.
To alleviate the painful trouble brought about by gout, better take the prescribed medications. First aid can also be done when you are at home. You can reduce pain in the swollen joint when you use a cane or a support to remove the weight on your joint. As much as possible, keep your joint above your chest. You can also use ice packs to minimize inflammation and relieve pain. However, before your case becomes severe it is better to see a gout specialist once symptoms appear or attacks happen.