Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by crystals of uric acid forming in the joints. It is usually associated with high levels of uric acid in the blood. Gout can be treated with medications to help prevent further attacks and reduce pain, but it can also be managed with lifestyle changes. In this blog, we look at what gout is, the pathogenesis of gout and how you can manage to live with the condition.
What is gout?
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when crystals of uric acid build up in the joints. These crystals are formed as a result of high levels of uric acid in the blood. The condition typically affects the big toe joint, but it can also affect the ankles, knees, wrists, hands, and elbows.
Gout can occur at any age but is more common in men over 40 years old who have had high blood pressure or diabetes for many years. It is also more likely to occur if you are overweight or if you drink too much alcohol.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can be extremely painful and cause permanent joint damage. If you think you have gout, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms include:
· Sudden severe pain in a joint
· Heat, swelling, and redness around the area of pain
· High temperature (fever)
· Nausea and loss of appetite
Pathogenesis of gout
Uric acid is a waste product that forms when the body breaks down purines. Purines are found in most foods and are especially high in red meats and alcoholic beverages. When food is digested, uric acid is released into the bloodstream and carried to the kidneys where it’s filtered out through urine. In people with gout, however, too much uric acid builds up in the blood and causes joint inflammation. If left untreated, it can lead to serious infections within the joint.
Management of gout
The management of gout involves a healthy diet, exercise, and weight control. If you have gout, you should maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet that is low in purines and rich in potassium, and drink plenty of fluids. The most important thing you can do to manage your gout is to stop smoking and drink alcohol in moderation. You should also exercise regularly.
If you need more guidance on gout, get in contact with our London clinic and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment for you with one of our specialists.