What is gout?
Many people have at least heard of it but it’s not something that many people are familiar with. It’s possible that one of the reasons why more people are not familiar with this disease is because of its complexity.
Complex or not gout is a very real, very serious illness that affects countless men and women every single day. Efforts to research, and therefore, more effectively treat gout continue every single day. One of the best ways to keep up the battle against gout is knowledge.
If you know someone who is suffering from gout and you admittedly don’t know as much about it as you would like to then it may perhaps be a good idea to arm yourself with as much basic information on gout as possible.
The more people who understand what gout is the more people there will be who are going to want to do all they can to eliminate it.
When You Have Gout
Gout occurs when too much uric acid has been accumulating in the blood. This can cause deposits of uric acid to begin forming in the joints.
Once a person has gotten to this point they may begin to experience some or all of the symptoms commonly associated with gout.
Two things to keep in mind about symptoms of gout are that the symptoms are acute and they mainly occur at night. It’s also worth noting that men suffer from gout more than women, but women are certainly capable of suffering from it as well. Many women can experience symptoms that can be diagnosed as gout after menopause.
Symptoms of gout tend to last about a week. If untreated the symptoms will gradually lessen over a period of a week or two.
-Intense pain and discomfort in the joints. The big toe is the part of the body that most commonly begins to feel this pain. The pain can then spread to the hands, knees, insteps, feet, fingers, ankles and wrists.
-Itchy, peeling skin. When the symptoms begin to subside the areas affected by gout can begin to peel and feel itchy.
-Redness and inflammation around the affected areas. They can also become take on a purple or red color.
-Nodules. In the early stages of goat, these can appear in the ears, elbows and hands.
There are even some cases in which some people experience none of these symptoms. In these situations the problem can potentially develop into chronic gout.
Your body breaks down chemicals called purines into uric acid, which is normally released through the kidneys in your urine. Purines can be found in food products such as organ meats, mushrooms, herring, anchovies and asparagus. However when there is too much uric acid in your body some build up can occur in the form of urate crystals. When these begin to appear in the body’s joints or surrounding areas, swelling inflammation and pain can occur.
There are a number of causes for gout. Some of these include:
-Heavy alcohol use, particularly with beer.
-A diet high in foods that contain purine.
-Very low calorie diets.
-Abundant use of aspirin, niacin, cyclosporine, levodopa or diuretics.
-An enzyme defect that makes it harder for your body to break down purines.
-An organ transplant.
-Chronic kidney disease.
This is only a partial list but it should be easy to see that gout can come from a wide array of different reasons.
Once you have fully answered the question of what is gout, you can understand the methods of treatment that are available.
NSAIDs, Colchicine and steroids are all used to treat gout. It is also often advised to those suffering from gout that they keep the affected limb or limbs elevated, avoid strenuous exercise or activity, avoid covering the affected areas, and keeping the affected areas cool with an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
It’s easy to understand why gout is considered to be such a complex disease. It can have many causes and symptoms. Fortunately, it can be prevented and treated in a great many cases.