What is Gout?
Arthritis is a disease that affects many people every year. It generally appears in time, over the years and there are many types. One type of arthritis is called gout. This is a more particular type of arthritis due to the fact that it targets the joints and tissues around the large toe and foot. Attacks of gout happen sporadically, but they generally occur just after you woke up or while you sleep. In order to understand the disease better we should look at the causes, symptoms and treatments for the disease.
Gout develops due to an accumulation of uric acid. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body, normally resulted from breaking down purines, which are substances that you can naturally find in the body and the food we consume. Uric acid is eliminated by the body through the kidneys, via urine. When the amount of uric acid present in the body is too high it can crystalize around the joints and tissues, resulting in redness, pain and burning sensations.
The symptoms of gout are more or less the same as any arthritis symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of gout or any other type of arthritis is joint pain. In this case the joint pain is usually around the big toe and may spread to the ankle foot and knees. Another symptom is joint discomfort, which may last between a few days and a week. You may also suffer from inflammation and redness. If this happens, the affected joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
Stages of Gout
Gout has four stages: Asymptomatic hyperuricemia, acute gout, interval or inter critical gout and chronic tophaceus gout.
Asymptomatic hyperucemia occurs when a person has high amounts of uric acid in their body without experiencing any of the symptoms related to gout. There is no need for treatment at this stage.
Acute gout is when the uric acid crystalized around the joints and you start feeling inflammation and pain. You will experiment periods of pain triggered by stress, alcohol or bad weather, lasting from 3 to 10 days.
Interval or inter critical gout is the period between gout attacks when the crystals keep depositing.
Chronic tophaceous gout is the form of gout that puts permanent damage to the joints and the kidneys. This stage of gout rarely occurs if the proper treatment is administered on time.
Risk factors for developing gout are the same for both men and women but these risk factors can increase due to certain factors. Eating foods that promote uric acid such as steak, seafood, sugary foods and drinks can heighten the risk. Being overweight can make the body produce more uric acid. If you have certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or kidney problems you may increase the development of gout. Age increases the risk of gout.
Gout is a painful disease, but fortunately it can be treated. There are lifestyle changes and home remedies you can use on a daily basis in order to treat the disease. Studies have shown that coffee can help lower uric acid. Cherries are another useful tool that can lower uric acid levels. Some studies have discovered that baking soda can help with the pain caused by gout. The most important thing to do when suffering from gout is to constantly stay hydrated so that you eliminate as much uric acid as you can through urination.