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Posted by: Health, Nutrition and Fitness on 15/12/2017

Major Causes of Gout, Symptoms and Treatment

Major Causes of Gout, Symptoms and Treatment

Gout is a common form of inflammatory ailment that causes swelling, intense pain, and stiffness in your joints. It is caused by the depositing of crystals of uric acid produced by the body in the joints. Gout is normally characterized by sudden severe pains, redness, and tenderness in the joints.

Mostly, gout affects the big toe in the body but can also affect other joints such as the ankles, knees, elbows, thumbs, and fingers. Gout attacks are unexpected and excruciatingly painful but with proper treatment, the pain and inflammation usually disappears after a few days. However, the pain may slowly recur after some time harming the tissues in the region of the inflammation.

Causes of gout

  • Uric acid

Uric acid comes from two places; our diet and from human cells which have structures called DNA. DNA structures are broken down into amino acids when the human cells die through the process spearheaded by the immune system. Some of the amino acids produced called purines are converted into chemicals that the body recycles while those left over become uric acid.

The rest of the acid gets filtered through the kidneys and is excreted as urine. Excessive uric acid in the blood brings on gout. Some people overproduce uric acid while others produce the normal amount, which their kidneys fail to process efficiently causing uric acid to build up, with high concentration on the tendons and joints.

These high uric levels cause swelling, pressure and severe pain. The pain is intense at first but with proper treatment, everything usually works out well. Though chronic gout may take long to develop, people with this type of gout usually feel tiny due to the hard accumulation of lumps over time in areas such as joints of the fingers. These deposits known as tophi are caused by concentrations of uric acid crystals and causes stiffness overtime.

  • Lifestyle changes to counter gout

Consumption of a diet with high purine and excessive alcohol use are common factors that increase one’s chances of getting gout. Alcohol is converted into lactic acid in the body which bars the excretion of uric acid from the kidney through urine causing high levels of uric acid in the body.  

Medication

Different medication such as aspirin, can be used to relieve gout symptoms such as pain. However, while reducing the pain might sound like a good idea and a step towards treating gout symptoms, the mediation used may have an opposite effect thus preventing the kidney from removing uric acid in the body causing severe harm. As such, it is advisable to visit a licensed physician as soon as the symptoms start appearing.

Gout treatment

  • Reducing Uric Acid Levels

Gout can be treated by using medication that lowers the production of uric acid in your body thus keeping the condition from becoming chronic. While taking this medication can be challenging as uric acid levels drop, crystals in your joint may shift triggering another attack. As such, adgere to the treatment instructions to prevent future attacks.

  • Nonsterodial anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDS

Doctors may prescribe a higher dose to stop an existing gout attack followed by a lower daily dose to prevent future attacks. These drugs are commonly used to quickly relieve pain and the swelling of gout and can shorten the attack especially if they are taken in the first 24 hours.

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