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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Gout


Gout – Crystals of Uric Acid Deposited in Joints

Gout is a kind of arthritis wherein crystals of uric acid tend to get deposited in the joints. It could cause sudden joint inflammation in one joint and severe gout could at times affect several other joints at the same time. This is known as polyarticular gout.

The most common symptom is severe and sudden pain in the joint together with swelling and redness. It is the toe which is commonly affected though it could develop in any other joint. The symptoms develop rapidly and are at its worst within 6 to 24 hours and usually last for around 3 to 10 days. Thereafter, the joint tends to look and feel normal again and the pain also disappears completely.

Gout is the cause of the accumulation of crystals of by-product chemical of metabolism in the joint which is the uric acid and when it tends to accumulate it could cause inflammation in the joint. Elevated level of uric acid in the bloodstream could lead the uric acid accumulation in the tissue of a joint which is found in the body and a normal by-product of the body breaks down on certain proteins known as purines.

Causes of Gout

If too much uric acid is produced or too little is excreted while urinating, the uric acid accumulates and may cause tiny crystals of sodium urate to form in and around the joints.

These tend to gradually build up over the years which are like hard needle shaped crystals and when it reaches a high concentration level crystals in the joint, they tend to cause two types of problems such as, some may spill over from the joint cartilage inflaming the soft lining of the joint resulting in pain with inflammation of an attack of gout while some pack together forming hard slowly expanding lumps of crystals or tophi which could cause progressive damage to the cartilage joint as well as the nearby bone and eventually results in irreversible joint damage causing stiffness and pain on movement.

Some of the common factors of gout is age and gender and may affect a person as they grow old andit is three to four times more likely in men, person having high blood pressure or diabetes, having close relatives who have been suffering from gout, a diet rich in purines like eating sardines and liver frequently and drinking too much of beer or spirits since alcoholic drinks contain high level of purines and being overweight.

Treatment and Relief for Gout 

Gout can be treated by relieving the symptoms which can be done by using ice packs and taking painkillers while in some cases, alternative medication may also be required. Preventing gout attacks in the future through a change in lifestyle which could involve losing weight if found to be overweight and taking medication which could lower the level of uric acids.

It is essential to follow the prescribed medication given by the physician and adhere to any recommended changes in lifestyle. Some complications may also arise which though uncommon may include kidney stones wherein high level of uric acid could lead to stone developing in the kidneys, permanent joint damage due to on-going joint inflammation between attacks and due to formation of tophi in the joint which damages the cartilage and bone if not treated for several years, tophus formation that are tophi of small and large lumps which at times are visible and felt easily under the skin.

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