Gout

February 2017


Definition


Gout is a disease that is rheumatologic, metabolic and inflammatory. It is part of microcrystalline arthropathy, diseases caused by deposits of crystals in the joints. It evolves in spurts and affects one or several joints. It usually begins in the big toe. The cause of gout is due to a high uric acid present in the blood, responsible for the formation of crystals usually around the joints. There are two types of gout: hyperuricemia, a primary infection, and secondary forms, due to another disease like chronic renal failure or to certain medications. The disease appears particularly among men over the age of 50, big eaters and sometimes drinkers (of beer especially).

Symptoms


Gout can occur only once, and is characterized by the following signs:
  • the sudden onset, often in the big toe or other joints, of pain;
  • inflammation affecting the affected joint;
  • an increase in redness and heat of the joint.


If an excess of uric acid in the blood remains, other chronic symptoms may occur:
  • chronic pain increased with walking and mobilization;
  • uric acid deposits that can be felt in the joints or under the skin, called tophi;
  • renal complications with possible urinary tract obstruction due to uric calculation.

Diagnosis


The diagnosis of gout is easy to make due to its particular clinical signs. A higher than normal blood level of uric acid will be found. A doctor can also perform a puncture of the affected joint to extract the liquid and test for the presence of uric acid crystals.

Treatment


We must distinguish the treatment of gout from the treatment of its possible cause. The joint in question will need to be rested, and iced will be applied locally along with the use of an anti-inflammatory drug to reduce the pain. There are also tips to be given for prevention. In cases of chronic hyperuricemia, drugs acting on the lower uric acid in the blood are used, including allopurinol.

Prevention


It is possible to prevent the occurrence of gout by adopting a healthy life special. Reduce the consumption of alcohol, meat, fish and dairy that is rich in fat. Weight loss is also helpful.

Related

Published by Jeff. Latest update on October 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM by Jeff.
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