Gout is the term for the complex form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe pain, redness and tenderness in joints. Gout most frequently occurs in the joint at the base of the big toe and it is more common in men than in women, although it also occurs in women usually after the menopause. This medical condition is diagnosed after a physical examination, blood test and the joint fluid test.
Causes of gout
Gout is a disorder that affects many people in different ways and has several causes. The uric acid crystals are one of the main causes of gout. They can be found in joints and tendons and they cause inflammation, swelling, redness, and unbearablepain.
The chemical compounds named purines are very important for our body, particularly because they convert food into energy and genes into proteins. Also, they generate acid uric in the bloodstream. The normal level of acid uric is controlled by the kidneys and the excess of acid uric is ejected through urination. However, it happens that the kidneys are not effective and acid uric in the amount that is higher than normal stays in the bloodstream. Then the uric acid begins to accumulate in the form of urate crystals, which are very sharp. These crystals tend to build up in the joints and that is how gout occurs.
Symptoms of gout
The gout symptoms appear unexpectedly and characteristically at night. The most common signs are profound joint pain in ankles, knees, heels, feet, hands, wrists, and in the joint at the base of the big toe. This pain is the strongest in the first day, but after that some lingering discomfort appears and can last even several weeks. In addition, inflammation, redness and swelling of the affected joint are also warning signs that the person might be suffering from gout. If the above mentioned symptoms persist and cause fever or inflammation, it is recommended to go and visit a doctor. It must be treated on time and properly in order to avoid more severe problems, for example, the lasting joint damage.
Treatment of gout
In order to reduce the pain in the gout, the doctors usually prescribe some medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicines and corticosteroids. These medications are very effective in blocking the acid uric production and they also improve acid uric elimination. Moreover, the doctors usually advise the patients not to consume alcohol because it can be also harmful for the pain in the gout.