Gout-An Overview

By avn
12:20 pm Posted November 18, 2016
In Gouty Arthritis

Gout is a condition characterized by inflammation of joints that develops usually in adults of age between 30 to 45 yrs. It manifests suddenly with swelling in the joints. Inflammation and swelling usually disappears within 2 weeks but the pain d needs continuous medication for a longer period of time for reducing. Increase in the level of uric acid in the blood is the cause of such an inflammation to take place. When the level of uric acid is higher than the normal value it tends to develop into tiny needle shape crystals within the joints which leads to the inflammation and swelling to set in. Normally, Uric acid is excreted through urine, but for some people they get accumulated and further develop into crystals within the joints, causing Gout.

Symptoms:

  • Swelling in joints which usually starts in joints which are present at the extremities like our toes and fingers (Interphalangeal joints).
  • The affected joint become so tender that even on slightest of pressure there will be immense pain.
  • Pain and Inflammation develops when the white blood cells and cells in joint linings start to round up the urate crystals and considers them as foreign material which leads to a series of reactions from our immune system manifesting swelling, pain and redness in joints.

Risk Factors:

Uric acid is a waste substance of purine which is one of the components of nucleic acid. If the level of uric acid increases, gout attacks.

  • Use of medicines that increases the uric levels – any special drugs taken for organ transplant and those medicines which increase the uric levels causes Gout.
  • Intake of sea food,meat etc – Animal based food products are reported to have more of purines which is a waste substance of uric acid.
  • Alcohol drinks – Consumption of Beer is associated with a higher risk of increasing the uric acid levels than wine.
  • Soft drinks – Cola and fruit juices which has got more sugar (fructose) has the risk of increasing the chances of manifestation of gout than Soda.
  • Overweight
  • Fasting
  • High blood pressure55
  • Any recent injury

Whom does it affect?

  • Normally Men aged 3 and above get affected by Gout.
  • Women who cross their menopause are more susceptible to develop Gout
  • People aged above 65 are at a higher risk of developing gout irrespective of their age.

Dietary advice for Gout:

Intake of food upon consultation with the Doctor will reduce the chance of developing Gout attacks.
Losing weight also plays an important role in prevention.
Consumption of the below food articles is recommended.

  1. Low fat products
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Coffee – Reduces the uric level
  4. Intake of Carbohydrates like oats, Beans, Brown rice etc

Effects:

Gout starts with one joint and recovers within 2 weeks on its own. Repeated attacks tend to spread to more than one joint. Chronic attacks of gout affects the joints so much that it leads to deformity of the joints itself and recovery from a stage of deformation is difficult.

Gout attacks cause the following:

  • Kidney stones
  • Weakening of muscles due to damage in the joints
  • Affects routine activities like walking, cooking, getting dressed etc
  • If urate crystals form somewhere in the body near to spinal cord(rare but likely to occur) it can lead to paralysis due to compression of spinal cord.

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