What is Gout?
Definition of Gout: An especially painful form of arthritis caused by hard deposits of uric acid, a natural waste product in the body. Gout most often strikes men in their 40s and 50s, but can affect anyone, according to the NIH. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Gout? Urate crystals form when uric acid builds up in the blood. This can happen if the body produces too much uric acid, if the kidneys cannot remove enough uric acid, while taking certain medications, or from a diet high in purines.
Is Gout Contagious? No.
Medical Term: Also called gouty arthritis.
Signs & Symptoms: Sudden, acute pain, usually in the big toe and often at night. Gout can also affect ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows, according to the NIH. An affected joint may be red, swollen, stiff, and feel hot.
Treatment & Remedies: NSAIDS and corticosteroids are prescribed for inflammation and pain. Colchicine is prescribed for pain and to prevent attacks. Other drugs work to limit uric acid production, or help the kidneys remove it, according to the Mayo Clinic. Avoiding alcohol and limiting meat in the diet can also help.
- Up to 3 million Americans suffer from gout, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
- High uric acid can also lead to kidney stones.
- Untreated gout can cause joint and kidney damage, according to the NIH.
- Gout is more common in people who drink alcohol and who have a family history of gout.
Sources and More Information:
- Gout: Details from MyHealthNewsDaily
- Related Information from the Mayo Clinic
- Related Information from the National Institutes of Health
- Related Information from the American College of Rheumatology
This information is not meant to provide specific medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnoses and treatment advice, and call 9-1-1 in emergencies.
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