Gout characteristics

This article was endorsed by Irene Mazzuca - Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rome "La Sapienza"

What is gouty arthritis?hombre dibujo

Characteristics of gout

Gout or gouty arthritis is an inflammation of the joints caused by the storage of uric acid deposited as crystals, damaging the joints and causing great pain.

Types of gout

There are three types of gout:

  • Acute gout: It is one that occurs suddenly. It is what is known as a gout attack, typically on the toe, ankle, knee, or other joints.
  • Chronic gout: It is one that develops when uric acid levels remain high for years. It is not as painful, but the attacks are severe and frequent, and can cause permanent kidney and joint damage.
  • Asymptomatic gout: It is the one that has no symptoms.

Symptoms of gout

The most important symptoms are:

  • Acute attack to the big toe: the big toe becomes inflamed, red, very hot and causes great pain. This attack usually occurs at night, the part of the day when usually it more painful. This attack usually lasts about 3 days.
  • Pain that affects multiple joints: Pain is alternately affecting multiple joints, usually the legs, but also the wrists, shoulders, elbow, etc.
  • Joints undergo degeneration produced by chronic gout. this may be painful or not, and often presents subcutaneous nodes (tophi), usually in toes, fingers and ears.

Causes of gout

The most important symptoms are:

  • Personal predisposition: There are people who have a personal tendency to suffer this disease for metabolic reasons. They are usually people of robust complexion and very fond of good eating.
  • Excretory system malfunction:People with difficulties to eliminate uric acid from the body, which causes it to accumulate in the joints. This abnormality occurs when uric acid is not properly eliminated through the urine. Sometimes it can be caused by taking medication that prevents uric acid removal. Drinking alcohol also makes it difficult to remove uric acid.
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Other diseases: Some diseases can favor the appearance of gout attacks, such as diabetes, kidney disease and anemia.
  • Inadequate diet, rich in purines,  which are found in fatty fish, meat and many other foods, which are transformed into uric acid, leading the body to a state of supersaturation of this acid (hyperucemia).

Treatment of gout

In the presence of symptoms which may presume the existence of gout, it is prudent to undertake a visit to the doctor, who, by appropriate tests (blood tests, x-rays or analysis of joint fluid), can determine the existence of this disease.

Conventional treatment is based primarily on the use of analgesics and anti inflammatory drugs.

It is adviced to drink plenty of water and the use of an adequate diet.

punto rojo More information about gout

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

9 September, 2020

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