What Is Gout?
What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that results in recurrent inflammation attacks on the joint caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the affected joint. It is most commonly associated with the big toe but it can occur in your elbows, hands, wrists, knees, feet and ankles. As a result of poor diet, longer life expectancy and other medical conditions, as much as 1% of the population suffers from Gout.
What are the symptoms of Gout?
If you have gout, you will notice the joint swells up. It will be red, stiff and tender. The surrounding area will be hot and the skin may start to peel. As your body tries to fight off the symptoms of Gout, you may also feel a light fever, which is completely normal. This type of arthritis is acute and can happen fairly quickly.
What causes Gout?
There are a number of factors that can result in a Gout attack. Gout is most commonly found in men aged 30-60 but it can happen to anyone. As mentioned, Gout is the result of too much uric acid, a chemical we all have in our body. Uric acid is a waste product formed from purines, usually found in foods we eat, that are broken down. Normally, this uric acid passes through your Kidneys and out through your urine. However, if you have too much uric acid in the blood, it forms into tiny crystals that collect in and around your joints. This results in the inflammation, stiffness and pain you experience.
There are other factors impacting your likeliness of getting Gout such as your genetics, other health problems, obesity and the actual diet you eat. For example, high purine food such as beer and meat as frequent diet choices can cause Gout.
What to do if you think you have Gout?
Always, always, always visit your Doctor. The sooner you can get this checked out, the sooner you will be treated and the less likely your condition will worsen. Your Doctor will examine you and ask about some of the symptoms. They will then take a little sample to test the uric acid levels. If necessary, further tests will be taken to rule out any other possibilities.
Usually Gout will clear up in a couple of weeks and treatment can range from improved diet to taking Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory), Therapy or an injection. If there is a lot of swelling, your Doctor may also drain the fluid to offer some relief. If Gout returns, you may require additional treatments to prevent this in the future.
I hope you found this a useful post. If there are any topics you would like me to cover, send me an email, comment below or contact me through Social Media. If you think you might have Gout and want to chat or schedule an appointment, that’s fine too!
Until next time, have a great day!