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Gout - General Understanding
Gout is a painful form of arthritis most commonly found in older men caused by high uric acid levels. Gout typically affects joints of the body, most often the big toe. This website explains what gout is, signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
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in the urine. Gout occurs when either the kidneys don't get rid of the uric acid properly, the body makes too much of the acid, or both.
Too much uric acid forms into crystals, which get deposited in joints, causing pain and inflammation. The crystals can also end up in the kidney, where they cause kidney stones. Gout typically affects older men. About 90% of people with gout are men older than 40. African-American men are twice as likely as Caucasian men to be affected. When women get gout, they tend to get it at least 10 years after menopause.
There are 3 main causes of the high levels of uric acid that lead to gout:
Diet is usually not the main cause of gout because most people do not cat enough of these foods on a regular basis.
High uric acid production. This can occur in people with certain inherited genetic metabolic disorders, in those with leukemia, in some who take chemotherapy for cancer, and in others for unknown reasons.
The kidneys do not get rid of enough uric acid. This can be caused by kidney disease, starvation, and alcohol use, especially binge drinking. It also can occur in people taking diuretics, which are used to treat high blood pressure or heart failure.
Gaining weight quickly or being obese also puts you at risk for gout. In many, gout is caused by a combination of factors. People with a family history of gout are more likely to develop the condition, as are those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Signs & Sy motoring
When gout first shows up, it usually affects only one joint, most often the big toe. It may also appear in a knee, ankle, wrist, foot, or finger.
The affected joint becomes red, swollen, painful, and very sensitive to the touch. Even light contact between a bed sheet and the joint can cause severe pain.
Without treatment, gout can also cause long-term arthritis, with chronic swelling and permanent joint damage. Uric acid crystals can build up, producing large lumps under the skin called tophi. Crystals may also be deposited in the kidneys, causing kidney stones.
How Gout is Diagnosed
To determine whether you may have gout, your doctor will:
If your symptoms don't point to a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will likely conduct the following tests:
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if a person's joint pain is caused by gout, another type of arthritis, or other conditions. There is even a condition that mimics gout and is commonly known as "pseudogout." Pseudogout is caused by calcium pyrophosphate crystals (not uric acid crystals) building up in joints and other tissues.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for gout. The pain and inflammation can he treated, however, and there are a number of things you can do to prevent future attacks and to prevent the long-term effects of untreated gout, such as serious joint damage, tophi, and kidney disease. The goal of long-term management of gout is to lower uric acid to healthy levels. The target level is less than 6 mg/dl.
Treating 1 pain Inflammation
They are especially effective if they are started as soon as possible after the start of an attack, and if they are used at the maximum recommended dose.
Preventive medication can help people who have:
Preventive medications include allopurinol, febuxostat, probenecid, and sulfinpyrazone.
Allopurinol and febuxostat work by making your body produce less uric acid.
Probenecid and sulfinpyrazone work by making the kidneys release more uric acid.
These drugs work well in 70% to 80% of people with gout. Although these drugs can be used in those with mild to moderate kidney disease, they should not be taken by people who have severe kidney disease or who have had a kidney stone. These preventive medications usually need to be taken daily to be effective.
When you first start taking a medication to lower your uric acid levels, you may experience a gout flare-up. This happens because as uric acid level is lowered, crystals begin to dissolve in your joints. Your doctor may give you a medication to help prevent this attack. A low dose of colchicine or a low dose of an NSAID may be used for this purpose.
Diet ez Lifestyle
Here are some tips for the long-term management of gout:
any other drugs you take and any other conditions you have.
Living - with Gout
The medications used to treat and prevent gout are effective. If your doctor prescribes these medications to you, it is important to take them regularly and to treat flare-ups for gout quickly. Be sure to talk to your doctor if your treatment plan doesn't seem to be working or if you experience any side effects from your medications.
Gout:Not Just for the Rich
One common myth about gout is that it only affects the 'well-to-do.' This idea is false, though it has been around for a long time.
Descriptions of gout date hack as far as the 5th century BC. Throughout the ages, gout was called the "King of Diseases" and "Disease of Kings." Why?
Gout attacks seemed to follow banquets during which participants drank excessive amounts of alcohol. Eating large amounts of caviar and organ meats (such as pancreas or liver) may also have played a role in triggering gout attacks, because these foods are rich in the proteins that are broken down into uric acid. For those less able to afford large quantities of this food and drink, gout may have been less common.
The mistaken notion that gout only occurs in the wealthy developed in the same way that medical myths often develop: When 2 things occur together (gout and wealth), 1 is assumed to cause the other.