Gout: Symptoms of Gout
When a person has gout, they have a type of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused by increased uric acid, which forms into crystals. These crystals deposit into joints, nearby soft tissue and tendons. The result is painful swelling that is red and warm. It takes years for the uric acid crystals to build up. This condition can become chronic in nature which can cause total joint destruction.
Factors of acquiring gout are 20% genetic coupled with diet and lifestyle. If a parent had gout, you have a 20% chance of getting gout. If you eat too much red meat, drink alcohol, skip meals and fluid then chances for getting gout are increased. Risk factors also include chemotherapy and suffering some sort of trauma.
Symptoms of gout usually start in the large toe, but may show up initially in other joints. The symptoms may appear after a trauma, surgery or illness. Nodules may appear in the elbows, ear lobes or hands.
Below are the four levels of gout symptoms:
This is the beginning stage of gout. Uric acid levels begin to rise in the blood. There are usually no noticeable symptoms at this time.
The second stage of gout lasts about five to ten consecutive days. There are sudden joint pains, fever, and inflammation. The joint pain is worse at night. The joints are very hot and reddened. The joints are tender and may be itchy and peeling.
This phase is symptom free and can last six months to two years. Some have no symptoms from five to ten years.
This is the last stage of gout. Uric acid levels are actually increasing at this time and large amounts of crystals are depositing in the cartilage, nearby soft tissues and tendons. The uric acid crystals are even spreading to the bones and membranes. Symptoms at this time range from stiffness in the joints, lessened range of motion, joint pain they may also break out in sores with drainage near the areas. Joint pain may spread to other joints in the body. Patients at this time have higher pre-disposition to kidney issues and kidney stones.
In order to achieve better symptom control with gout, early detection is important. The only issue with gout is by the time symptoms have appear, the disease is already progressing towards chronic gout. Gout symptoms can be very close in nature to other types of arthritis; therefore, doctors have a difficult time diagnosing it.
Gout has no cure, but can be treated and managed with proper diet and healthy lifestyle. There are medications that can alleviate symptoms such as; NSAIDs, colchicines and steroids. With proper treatment patients can reduce the severity and frequency of the attacks.
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