A kind of arthritis. In which crystalline deposits of uric acid form within joints, gout is 20 times more common in men, particularly those people who are overweight and indulge in rich foods and fortified wines, classically port.
The base of the big toe is the most common site of gout, but any joint may be changed. Gout causes sudden pain and inflammation, generally within a joint. In girls, it seldom appears before the menopause.
What Are The Causes?
Gout is generally due to high amounts of the waste product uric acid in the blood. Excessive uric acid is brought on by the over generation and decreased excretion of uric acid and can result in uric acid crystals being deposited in a joint. Why this occurs no one understands, but the state is frequently inherited. A number of individuals with gout also develop kidney stones formed from excessive uric acid crystals.
Gout may happen spontaneously or be brought on by operation, being overweight, drinking alcohol or excessive cell destruction related to chemotherapy.
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of gout usually flare up unexpectedly. They may contain:
- ardent redness, tenderness, heat, and swelling around the affected region, as in disease
- pain, which might be excruciating, in the affected joint or joints
- moderate temperature.
In longstanding gout, deposits of uric acid crystals may gather in the earlobes and the soft tissues of the hands, forming little, creamy lumps called tophi.
What Might Be Done?
- Your physician will arrange for blood tests to quantify your uric acid levels. Seriously raised uric acid levels are diagnostic of gout.
- To support the identification, a joint aspiration, in which fluid is removed from the affected joint, is analyzed for uric acid crystals. For obvious reasons this process is only done when the joint is pain free.
What Is The Treatment?
Gout may subside by itself after several days without treatment. In case it continues these treatments may be offered.
- To reduce acute pain and inflammation, you might be treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), the anti-gout drug colchicine or with oral corticosteroids.
- If you’ve got recurring gout, you might need lifelong treatment with preventative drugs like- allopurinol to reduce the generation of uric acid, or probenecid to raise the excretion of uric acid.
- Your doctor may recommend that you make lifestyle changes and reduce the number of alcohol you drink and the abundance of your diet; in particular you should stay away from liver, other offal, poultry and beats.
- Losing excess weight may help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks of gout.
What Is The Prognosis?
Gout can be quite distressing and disturb regular physical actions, but attacks often become less frequent and less intense with age. Recurrent attacks may cause irreversible damage to the affected joint and sometimes to the kidneys.