How Do You Know If You Got Gout

How Do You Know If You Got Gout – Here’s what to expect at each stage of the disease and how to prevent gout from getting worse in the first place.

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when the level of uric acid—a normal byproduct of metabolic reactions in the body—becomes too high. When the level of uric acid is so high that the body cannot easily break it down and eliminate it (through the urine), uric acid begins to crystallize. Uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints causing severe inflammation. The big toe is a well-known gout attack site, but gout can attack many different joints in the body.

How Do You Know If You Got Gout

How Do You Know If You Got Gout

Gout is one of the oldest recorded diseases, with references dating back to ancient Egypt. This painful arthritis affects millions of US adults. now, as it happened in historical times, as described by Dr. Thomas Sydenham in the 17th century:

Gout (low Purine) Diet: Best Foods To Eat & What To Avoid

“The victim fell asleep and slept soundly. About two o’clock in the morning, he was awakened by a severe pain in his big toe. Less often in the heel, ankle, or sole of the foot…The pain, which was mild at first, became more intense…Very pleasant and pleasant is the sensation of the part which is temporarily affected, until it cannot bear the weight of bedclothes or jars. of people walking in the room.”

Fortunately, today gout is one of the most treatable forms of arthritis – some rheumatologists say it can be cured. But for many gout patients, the disease remains untreated or untreated. In one recent study, for example, only 37 percent of people with gout were taking the uric acid-lowering drug allopurinol. among gout patients who experience frequent flare-ups, only half take it.

Improper treatment of gout can cause the disease to progress. Over time, gout can affect more joints in the body and cause problems such as tophi gout and permanent bone damage.

Learn more here about how gout develops, how gout progresses through the different stages, and how to treat gout to prevent symptoms, reduce gout levels, and prevent long-term gout complications.

Gout Relief: Natural Remedies For Pain And Swelling

Also called asymptomatic hyperuricemia, in the early stages of gout, uric acid builds up in the blood and begins to form crystals around the joints, most commonly in the legs.

Uric acid is created when the body breaks down substances called purines, which are produced in the body and can also be found in certain foods and drinks. While eating foods high in purines can contribute to high levels of uric acid, many experts believe that the role of diet in the development of uric acid is overemphasized. Chronic high uric acid levels occur when the kidneys are unable to remove uric acid effectively, which can occur for a number of reasons, including:

“In this early stage of gout, the person has no joint pain, no red or swollen joints, just a blood test with high uric acid,” says Theodore R. Fields, MD, FACP, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. city. “This is when uric acid or uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints and can cause inflammation later.”

How Do You Know If You Got Gout

But high uric acid is not enough to diagnose gout on its own. “Most people with hyperuricemia never develop clinical gout,” says Alireza Meysami, MD, FACR, FACP, a rheumatologist at Henry Ford Health System in Michigan.

Natural Ways To Treat And Prevent Gout

“It is when people suffer from pain, redness and swelling in the joints, most commonly in the toes, feet, ankles or knees, but gout may also start in other joints,” said Dr. “That’s when the urate crystals are released into the joint fluid and cause an inflammatory reaction, bringing in lots of white blood cells and releasing inflammatory chemicals that cause pain, redness and swelling.”

If you think you have a gout attack, see your primary care doctor or a rheumatologist to start treating the disease. It is important to see a doctor during a gout flare because your doctor will want to remove fluid from the affected joint and examine it under a microscope to check for uric acid crystals. Finding uric acid crystals in the synovial fluid helps confirm the diagnosis of gout.

After the first attack of gout, 75 percent of people will have a second relapse within a year. but some people can go years before another attack, said Dr. Fields. The intermediate stage is “where people have had gout but now don’t have joint pain or swelling,” he said. “Almost all patients with gout will go through this phase, because the nature of gout is to have flare-ups and then subside for a while before the next flare-up.”

Although it may seem like nothing is happening, this is the point when the patient should start long-term treatment. Lowering gout levels with medication can prevent future gout attacks and the long-term complications that occur.

The 4 Stages Of Gout

This stage is also called “topophagic uric acid” because uric acid deposits can form nodules called “toffi”, often at the point of the socket of the thumb or elbow. But tophi can form anywhere on the body. “This stage is where people can experience gout joint pain almost all the time,” said Dr. Fields. “It usually takes years of uncontrolled gout to get to this stage.”

During this stage, progressive joint damage develops, so gout patients should be treated before this happens. “Delaying treatment can lead to gout,” said Dr. Meisami.

As you become more familiar with the symptoms of gout, you may experience a gout attack. “Severe pain, swelling, redness and warmth of the affected joint during the attack is a sign of the progress of this attack,” said Dr. Meisami.

How Do You Know If You Got Gout

In addition, the overall disease can develop with “persistent or more frequent attacks of gout that last longer, have more joints, and have tophi,” said Dr. Meisami.

Triggers For Gout: Why Attacks Happen And How To Avoid Them

If you have more than one gout flare-up a year, it is very important to take gout medication regularly, said Dr. Fields.

Without treatment, gout usually develops. In addition, certain factors can cause gout. “Anything that causes uric acid levels to suddenly rise or fall can cause gout,” says Dr. Fields.

This can include eating foods high in purines, which break down into uric acid, such as red meat and shellfish. Foods high in fructose can also increase the production of uric acid in the body. Alcohol reduces the excretion of uric acid in the urine, which can cause uric acid levels to rise. In particular, “beer not only has the effect of alcohol on uric acid in the urine, but also has proteins that are broken down into purines and then into uric acid, so it can increase uric acid in two ways,” said Dr. Fields.

While you may want to limit foods high in purines to prevent flare-ups, two doctors we interviewed said that diet is not enough to control gout. “A strict purine dietary restriction is rarely recommended, because it only lowers the average level of serum urate [blood] by about 1 mg/dl, which is not enough for most patients,” said Dr. Meisemi.

Early Signs Of Gout To Never Ignore

Gout used to be called the “disease of kings,” but it was misunderstood to be just because of rich foods and drinks. “Gout is a genetic disease—your body either throws off too much uric acid in your urine or makes too much uric acid—it’s not a nutritional disease,” says Dr. Fields. “Watching your diet can certainly help treat gout, but to reverse your genetic predisposition to gout almost always requires medication.”

So if you notice that certain foods cause gout symptoms, don’t forget. “Drinking alcoholic beverages or rich foods can trigger gout attacks in some patients, and individual patients should avoid factors that can trigger attacks,” said Dr. Meisemi.

However, one of the risk factors for gout is obesity. In fact, gout has become more common these days, possibly due to rising obesity rates. “Weight loss in obese people will reduce uric acid to a greater extent than a purine-free diet,” Dr. Meysemi said. To that end, a healthy diet and exercise can help you lose weight and reduce your chances of developing the disease.

How Do You Know If You Got Gout

Emotional stress can also cause gout attacks. So physical trauma to the foot (such as can happen when walking), which can release some crystals and cause an inflammatory reaction.

All About Gout

“We do not discourage people with gout from running or other sports,” said Dr. “But if someone has gout pain in the legs, ankles or knees, it is recommended not to walk as much as possible, because further trauma from a dislocated gout joint can increase the flare.”

Starting a medication regimen can also cause inadvertent flare-ups. but other medications may also be prescribed to help manage these risks.

Fortunately, due in part to its long history, gout is one of the best understood and most treatable forms of arthritis.

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