What is Gout?

What is Gout?

Gout is one of the oldest and most painful forms of Arthritis. It affects roughly 3.9 percent of adults in the United States, amounts to approximately 8.3 million people. This condition can cause sporadic bouts of pain in the joints and in areas where Gout materializes. We will answer the question, “What is Gout?”, as well as discuss the symptoms of Gout, risk factors, management and treatment of Gout.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of Arthritis that develops when urate crystals form in the tissue. Urate crystals are a byproduct of certain biological processes involving the metabolism. In a healthy body, the kidneys filter uric acid and excretes in urine.

In addition, people who develop this condition have elevated levels of uric acid in their blood. This chemical travels throughout the body and deposits in areas where soft tissues like cartilage tend to reside.

Symptoms of Gout

The most common symptom of Gout is podagra, which is redness and swelling of the joint of the big toe. Also, this symptom occurs in about half of all those who suffer from Gout.

Other symptoms of Gout can include pain or swelling in areas such as the following:

  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Wrists
  • Fingers
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Ears

The effects of Gout change as the individual ages. Also, Gout may go into a state of remission. If the uric acid levels in the body continue to remain elevated, crystals can continue to develop and cause damage.

This condition can snowball without proper treatment. Therefore, it’s critical to seek help if you suspect you may have Gout or are at risk of developing this condition.

Risk Factors for Gout

Genetic and environmental factors are also the most influential risk factors for developing Gout.

Some of the risk factors for Gout include the following:

  • Having family members with a history of Gout
  • Having impaired kidney function
  • Being male, as 80 percent of people affected by Gout are men
  • Obesity
  • Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or eating foods rich in purines
  • Exposure to lead
  • Being the recipient of an organ transplant

Fortunately, many of these risk factors reveal the ways that you can control Gout.

Prevention, Management and Treatment for Gout

Changing your diet, using alternative forms of medication and losing weight are some effective ways to prevent flare-ups.

In more advanced stages of Gout, a personalized treatment approach is necessary. This can involve the use of certain medications that treat Arthritis, cortiscosteroids or medications specifically to aid in the removal of uric acid from the body. Stubborn cases of Gout have responded well to the biologics treatments we offer.

These are just the basics of “What is Gout?”, as well as the symptoms of Gout, risk factors, management, prevention and treatment options for this condition. If you are having difficulty managing your condition or have questions about Gout treatment options, contact us today. Our trained doctors can provide a customized treatment plan to meet your needs, or point you in the direction of someone that can.

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