June 10, 2011 by Lena.
What is Gout?
Gout, or gouty arthritis, is an overload of uric acid in the body, often brought about by the body's inability to process uric acid. The excess uric acid causes crystals of urate to build up in the body's tissues, especially the joints, which causes inflammation. Gout is a chronic illness, and progressive, meaning that it gets worse over time if not treated properly. Aside from the joint pain, gout can cause lumps of urate to build up in the kidneys leading to kidney stones or even kidney failure.Who Does it Affect and Why?
Gout shows up often in history books as an affliction of the affluent, but its designation as a rich man's disease is not entirely accurate.. Gout affects approximately 5 million people in the United States, and while it does affect men nine times more than women it is not exclusive to the upper class. Gout hits usually after puberty, with a peak age of 75 in men, and generally after menopause in women. Obesity and high blood pressure are contributing risk factors in developing gout, as are certain medications. Diet plays a huge role in development and control of gout — a diet rich in meat and fish and with a moderate to high alcohol intake can increase chances of gouty arthritis. Maintaining a diet low in foods containing purines is important in controlling gout, as uric acid is produced when breaking down purines.Symptoms
Gout affects the joints of the body, most commonly the joint at the base of the big toe. Attacks of gouty arthritis generally present as pain and swelling at the affected site, along with redness, warmth and tenderness. Gout attacks generally last for a few hours to a few days, and will subside without medication. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which usually attacks multiple joints at once, gout usually flares up in one joint at a time. The most reliable way to diagnose gout is to check a sample of joint fluid for uric acid crystals.Treatment
Anti-inflammatory medications, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used to relieve pain during a gout attack, and gout medications such as corticosteroids or colchicine can be used to reduce swelling. Aspirin should be avoided for pain relief as it can prevent the kidneys from excreting uric acid. Gout medications are available to control levels of uric acid, but they are usually only given after the acute attack has finished, as taking these medications during the attack can make it worse. Along with medications for gout, diet changes and weight loss can help control attacks and lower uric acid levels.
Filed under: What is Gout.
Tags: what is gout, colchicine, colchicine colcrys, colchicine for gout, gout medication, gout treatment, gout prevention, gout arthritis, colcichine information.
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