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Gout

Gout, also known as gouty arthritis, is a painful form of arthritis. Gout is common, often causing swollen joints and stiffness. It is often characterized by redness at the affected area. Gout attacks occur as a result of excess uric acid levels in the body. Uric acid is produced as a byproduct of digestion of certain foods. Under normal conditions, uric acid will remain dissolved in the blood, and filter through the kidneys and excreted in urine. In persons with gout, uric acid will sometimes precipitate into fine needle-like crystals in the joints. When this occurs, it can cause painful and debilitating attacks lasting for days or weeks if not properly treated.

Symptoms of Gout

Some signs you may be suffering from gout.
Joint Pain
Joint Pain

Pain in the joints without trauma, especially pain that has onset during sleep is a common symptom of gout. While the big toe is the most notable joint for attacks, the ankle, wrist and fingers can also be points of attack.

Swelling
Swelling

It is common to experience swelling around the area of attack.

Tenderness
Tenderness

Bearing weight on a joint under attack can be excruciating. It is also common for even light contact with the skin in the region to be very sensitive to the touch.

Stiffness
Stiffness

As with other forms of arthritis, stiffness in the affected joint is common.

Warmth
Warmth

It is common for the affected area to be warm to the touch.

Redness
Redness

In many cases, the skin surrounding the joint undergoing an attack will become reddened.

Risk Factors of Gout

While not everyone with these markers or behaviors will have gout, they do increase risk.
Are You a Man
Are You a Man

Men are more likely to experience gout.

It's in the Family
It's in the Family

The predisposition to gout is hereditary, if members of your family suffer from gout, you may be at risk as well.

Are you tipping the scales?
Are you tipping the scales?

Persons who are overweight are more likely to experience gout flare ups.

Do you drink regularly?
Do you drink regularly?

Consumption of alcohol, and especially beer, is linked to higher risk of gout.

Eating the All American diet?
Eating the All American diet?

Diets containing beef, soda, and beer are associated with higher risk of gout.

Have you had joint injuries in the past?
Have you had joint injuries in the past?

Some forms of traumatic injury can increase your risk of gout.

Are You Diabetic or Prediabetic?
Are You Diabetic or Prediabetic?

High levels of insulin can contribute to buildup of uric acid in the body, high uric acid levels are correlated with Gout attacks.

Toxins
Toxins

Arsenic can trigger gout symptoms even at low levels of exposure. Common pathways of exposure to arsenic are through pesticides, fertilizers, and soil.

Are you getting enough water?
Are you getting enough water?

Lack of fluids to assist in the evacuation of uric acid can lead to buildup in the body, putting you at risk for attacks.

Treatments

There are several treatment options for gout.
Avoid Foods Rich in Purine
Avoid Foods Rich in Purine

Dietary purine converts to uric acid during digestion. Avoiding foods rich in purine can help alleviate symptoms of gout.

Drink Plenty of Water
Drink Plenty of Water

Uric acid leaves the body via urination. Giving your body plenty of water to filter uric acid from the blood can significantly reduce the prevalence and intensity of gout attacks.

Limit Alcohol Consumption
Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol, especially beer is a major source of dietary purines

Rest, Ice, Elevate
Rest, Ice, Elevate

As with other joint injuries, rest, ice, and elevation can alleviate symptoms.

Steroids
Steroids

To help combat inflammation, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, Colchicine, or NSAIDs.

Inhibitors
Inhibitors

A class of drugs known as xanthine oxidase inhibitors may be used to limit the amount of uric acid produced by your body.

Promoters
Promoters

A class of drugs known as uricosurics may improve your body's ability to filter uric acid from the blood, and may be prescribed by your doctor to treat gout.

Medication to prevent Gout

Medications that induce Gout

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Last updated: 7/29/2021, 8:30:15 AM