Gout can be considered as a complex form of arthritis that can result in a wide range of symptoms including pain, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, etc. in the joints. Gout usually affects the joints in your big toe, but it can also affect other joints. The symptoms of gouts develop suddenly, especially in the night. It can wake you in the middle of the night with severe pain in your big toe. If the condition progresses, it can result in the deformity of the affected joints and you will also lose their mobility. Hence, it is important for you to control gout before it becomes worse.
What Causes Gout?
The accumulation of urate crystals in the joints is responsible for the development of gout. These urate crystals will be formed when there are higher levels of uric acid present in your blood. Uric acid is created when purines are broken down by the body. Purines are compounds that are naturally present in the body. In addition to this, some foods can also contain higher levels of purines.
Food such as seafood, organ meats, and steak have high amounts of purines. Also, sweetened drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, etc. have higher levels of purines. Therefore, these foods and drinks will trigger the formation of gout symptoms in people who are suffering from the condition.
Your doctor will diagnose gout by analyzing your medical history and gout symptoms and also by performing a physical examination. The doctor can ask about different factors including:
- A description of your joint pain
- How often you experience the symptoms
- How red and swollen the area is
Your doctor will also advise you to conduct a test for checking the build-up of uric acid in your joints. A fluid sample that is taken from your joints will show whether they contain uric acid. The doctor might also ask for an X-ray of the joint for accurately diagnosing the presence of this condition.
Different drugs are used to relieve the symptoms caused by gout. Drugs that are used for alleviating the pain include NSAIDs, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. Various drugs that are used for preventing gout include xanthine oxidase inhibitors, probenecid, febuxostat, etc.
Along with the medications, you will have to make changes in your diet and lifestyle. Losing weight, avoiding alcoholic and sweetened beverages, quitting smoke, etc. can be helpful for you to effectively control the development of gout.
Gout is a condition that can affect your joints. If this condition gets worse, it will make your joint permanently swollen and damaged. But you can prevent the development of this condition with proper medication and lifestyle changes.