Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by inflammation of the joints in the feet, ankles, knees, hands and elbows. This disease commonly affects adult men and women age 40 and older. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause severe damage to the kidney and joints. If an individual is already suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes, Gout may also cause heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
Primary Causes of Gout:
High level of uric acid in the blood is the primary cause of gout. Uric acid is a naturally produced substance in the body that is excreted by the kidney through urine. When uric acid levels exceed the normal body levels, they form deposits in the joints that results in gout. Gout is caused due to the following factors:
- hemolytic anemia
- lead poisoning
- High alcohol intake
- A genetic predisposition
- Foods such as shellfish and red meats
- Sugary drinks and foods that are high in fructose
- Injury to a joint
- Long-standing kidney disease.
What Are The Symptoms of Gout:
Gout develops after buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints over time. This can cause joints to become swollen and turn reddish in color. It normally affects the joint of the big toe but other joints can also be seriously affected by the disease. Below are some important symptoms of Gout:
- Severe pain in the joints
- Itchy and peeling skin later
- Redness and inflammation
- Less flexibility in the joints
How Gout is Diagnosed?
As soon as you experience symptoms of Gout you should consult your doctor and receive medical attention. After examining the symptoms, doctors may conduct a blood test along with a joint fluid test to check if you have increased levels of uric acid in blood. The blood test is done to measure the uric acid levels whereas joint fluid test is conducted to find the traces of uric acid crystals in affected joints.
Gout Treatment and Medication :
Medication is the most effective way to treat gout. There are certain drugs that play a significant role in the treatment of the gout as they reduce the production of uric acid in the body. Drugs prescribed in the disease include Colchicine, Uloric and Zyloprim that help to prevent inflammation and pain in the joints. Before starting the drug schedule you must consult your doctor to know more about the drug ingredients, its side effects and dosage.