Causes of Gout Disease: You may have heard your friend complaining about his aching toe. He’s probably suffering from gout, which is one of the most common types of arthritis. Gout is an inflammation of the joint caused by high uric acid levels in the body. It usually affects the big toe, but it can also attack other joints like knees, hands, and feet.
In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about gout and its treatment options. Let’s get started!
What exactly Gout is- What is Gout Disease
Gout is a common and complicated kind of arthritis that can harm anyone at any age. It is defined by unexpected, acute pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in one or more joints, most commonly the big toe.
Gout attacks may be painful and might cause you to wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though your big toe is on fire. Even the weight of the bed sheet could seem intolerable since the damaged joint is hot, swollen, and extremely sensitive.
Gout is a chronic condition that can be either acute or chronic. Acute gout is more commonly known as acute arthritis, and more severe than chronic ones. Chronic gout is the most serious form of gout, and some people with it are unable to function properly.
What is Gout Symptoms
Gout symptoms nearly always appear suddenly and frequently at night.
Symptoms of Gout are as follows:
Redness and inflammation
The affected joint or joints become swollen, sensitive, hot, and red.
Narrow range of motion
Your ability to move your joints normally can be compromised as gout increases.
Stiffness in the joints
Any joint can develop gout, but the big toe is typically affected. Ankle, knee, elbow, wrist, and finger joints are among those that are frequently impacted. Most likely, the first four to 12 hours after the pain starts will be the most painful.
Some joint pain may persist for a few days to a few weeks after the most intense pain has subsided. Later attacks might persist longer and harm more joints.
What are Causes of Gout Disease
It’s usually caused by an overproduction of uric acid in the body, which is produced by uric acid crystals in the joints that come into contact with food or drink. The crystals cause pain and swelling in the affected joints, causing them to become inflamed and painful to touch. This inflammation may lead to tissue damage, such as scarring and necrosis.
When the body breaks down substances known as purines, uric acid is produced.
Uric acid can build up in the body and transform into small crystals if your kidneys are unable to remove enough of it or if your body is making unusually large amounts of it.
Because the temperature in these regions is a little lower than the rest of the body, these crystals frequently form in and around the joints. The crystals may result in excruciating inflammation if they enter the space between joints (redness and swelling).
Your chance of having gout is significantly determined by your blood’s level of uric acid. But why some people with high blood levels of uric acid have gout but others with the same high levels don’t is still a question.
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Other causes of gout disease that could raise the risk
Your risk of getting gout may be increased by certain underlying health conditions, such as:
- Elevated blood fat and cholesterol levels
- Diabetes and high blood pressure
- Kidney diseases
- The metabolic syndrome (a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity)
- Psoriasis (a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales)
Purines are broken down by the body, which produces uric acid. Consuming foods with a lot of purines can make you more likely to get gout. Natural purine-rich foods include:
- Seafood, particularly shellfish
- Red meat, including cattle, lamb, and pork & oily fish
- As well as offal such the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Beverages with added sugar
Your risk of developing gout may also increase if you consume certain sugary beverages.
According to several studies, consuming soft drinks that are sugar-sweetened and beverages that contain a lot of fructose—a naturally occurring sugar that is present in many fruits—increases your risk of developing gout.
Your chance of developing gout can rise along with your uric acid levels if you take certain medicines.
- Diuretics, also known as “water pills,” are medications for treating high blood pressure or an unnatural buildup of fluid in the body.
- Several high blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.
- Niacin is used to treat excessive cholesterol, whereas low-dose aspirin is used to lower the risk of blood clots.
- Ciclosporin is a chemotherapeutic medicine that is used to treat illnesses like psoriasis.
History of Family
Gout usually runs in families, according to studies. One in five gout sufferers has a close relative who also has the disease.
Alcoholic beverages can increase the blood’s uric acid concentration.
Wine does this less than beer, fortified wines like port, and spirits. One or two glasses of wine every day shouldn’t drastically raise your risk of developing gout.
How gout diagnosed is done?
Gout is diagnosed by a medical professional based on your symptoms and the findings of your physical examination, X-rays, and laboratory tests. Only when a joint is heated, swollen, and painful during a flare-up and a lab examination reveals uric acid crystals in the affected joint can gout be diagnosed.
Treatment of Gout
Medical care and self-management techniques can be used to effectively treat and manage gout. A medical treatment programme may be suggested by your healthcare professional.
- Control the pain a flare-up causes
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine are used to treat flares.
- Stop future flare-ups.
Making dietary and lifestyle adjustments, such as cutting back on alcohol, lowering weight, and consuming less foods high in purines (such as red meat or organ meat), may help you avoid attacks in the future. Diuretics and other hyperuricemia-related medicines may need to be changed or stopped.
- Prevent kidney stones and tophi
Prevent the development of tophi and kidney stones caused by persistently high uric acid levels. Under the skin, tophi are solid uric acid deposits. Doctors may suggest preventative therapy to reduce uric acid levels in the blood using medications such allopurinol, febuxostat, and pegloticase for those with frequent acute flare-ups or chronic gout.
Gout can be treated medically as well as by self-management techniques. Self-management is what you do on a daily basis to control your condition and maintain your health, such as choosing a healthy lifestyle. The self-management techniques listed below are low-cost gout treatment and have been shown to lessen discomfort and handicap so you may engage in the activities you value.
Who should do the gout diagnosis and treatment?
A doctor or group of specialists with experience in treating gout patients should be entrusted with the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This is significant since the symptoms of gout are not always distinct and can resemble those of other inflammatory disorders.
Rheumatologists are medical professionals who focus on treating gout and other types of arthritis.
Low-cost self-management Gout Treatment
Thankfully, there are numerous low-cost self-management treatments that have been shown to raise the quality of life for gout patients. Some of them are listed below:
- Reduce weight
Losing weight eases pressure on joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees, in overweight or obese people. Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight can help with pain relief, function enhancement, and arthritis progression.
- Joints Protection
Arthritis can be caused by or worsened by joint injury. Select joint-friendly exercises including walking, cycling, and swimming. The risk of damage is low with these low-impact hobbies, which also don’t twist or put too much strain on the joints.
- Consult with your doctor
By keeping regular checkups with your doctor and according to their prescribed treatment plan, you can actively participate in managing your arthritis. If you also suffer from other chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease, then this is very crucial.
- Be active physically
Adults should engage in 150 minutes each week of at least moderate physical activity, according to experts. Every minute counts, and even a little activity is preferable to none. Walking, swimming, or biking are suggested as moderate, low-impact activities. Additionally, regular exercise helps lower the risk of developing other chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Build self-management capabilities
Consider enrolling in a self-management education course, which can help people with arthritis and other chronic disorders, such as gout, better understand how the disease affects their lives and boost their confidence in managing their symptoms and leading healthy lives.
- Join for healthy exercise
Participating in physical activity programs can help reduce pain and impairment caused by arthritis, improve mood, and increase mobility for people who are concerned that physical activity may make their arthritis worse or are unaware how to exercise properly. Classes are held in neighborhood Ys, parks, and community centers. People with arthritis may feel better after attending these programs.
Once you know causes of gout disease, you must avoid such factors. Immediate self management gout treatment in consultation with a medical practitioner is very much essential for quick healing.