Gout, characterized as a form of arthritis, is caused by the increased levels of uric acid in the blood. This condition generally affects your joints and creates pain, inflammation, and swelling in them. Gout commonly affects your big toe, but if not treated properly, it will affect your other joints too. Therefore, it is important for you to identify this condition in the initial stages for taking proper gout treatment.
If you experience severe pain and inflammation in your joints, especially in the big toe, then it might be a sign of gout. If you find these symptoms in your body, it is important to consult a doctor for determining whether you are suffering from gout. Your doctor will conduct the following tests for diagnosing gout:
Tests For Diagnosing Gout:
The following are some of the common tests conducted for diagnosing this condition:
Joint Fluid Test: This test is done by drawing fluid from the affected joints. When this fluid is examined under a microscope, urate crystals can be found if you are suffering from gout.
Blood Test: Your doctor may advise you to perform a blood test for measuring the levels of compounds like uric acid and creatinine. However, blood test results can be sometimes misleading. Some people might have high levels of uric acid in their blood but do not develop gout. Some others may have different signs and symptoms of gout but might not have unusual levels of uric acid.
X-ray Imaging: X-rays of joints can be beneficial for ruling out other causes that can result in joint inflammation.
Ultrasound: The presence of urate crystals in the affected joints can be detected using ultrasound.
Dual Energy CT Scan: It can be used for detecting the presence of urate crystals in the joints even if it is not inflamed. This test is very expensive and is not generally used.
The treatment of this condition generally involves the use of different medications. Some of the common gout medications are listed below:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Your doctor can prescribe NSAIDs based on the severity of your symptoms. Some of them include ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, or celecoxib.
Colchicine: It is usually prescribed for relieving gout pain.
Corticosteroids: Different corticosteroid medications like drug prednisone can be useful for controlling the pain and inflammation associated with gout.
Taking proper treatment for gout at the right time is important, as it can be beneficial for preventing this condition from getting worse. So if you experience inflammation and pain in your joints, consult your doctor for finding whether you are suffering from gout.