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GOUT

Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It develops in a person with a high uric acid level in the blood. It is characterized by a severe attack of pain, redness, and tenderness of joints. It mostly develops in the big toe.

The uric acid crystal that deposits in the joint causes swelling, redness, heat and pain. The symptoms may come and go but there are ways to lessen the symptoms and flares.

2 TYPES OF GOUT

  • Flares – it is when the symptoms get worse.
  • Remission – it is when no symptoms occur.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOM

A person with gout may experience symptoms such as:

  • Experiencing an intense pain.
  • Swelling in the joints on your foot.
  • Redness
  • A person may experience a burning sensation that develops in the foot.

CAUSES OF GOUT

Gout occurs when a high level of urate crystal accumulates in the joint causing intense pain and swelling. These urate crystals are formed when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. The list of foods below is rich in uric acid:

  • Shellfish
  • Red meats
  • Organ meat
  • Seafood
  • Alcoholic beverages like beer
  • Eating food that contains high in salt

RISK FACTORS

The following are factors that increase your chances of having gout:

  • An obese person.
  • A family history of gout.
  • Having certain health issues like heart failure, diabetes etc.
  • Using a medication like diuretics and low-dose aspirin.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Eating food or drink that is high in fructose.
  • Having an improper diet. Eating foods that are rich in purines.

DIAGNOSIS

Gout can diagnose if flare symptoms occur. The following test can help diagnose gout:

  • Conducting a physical test
  • Performing a joint fluid test
  • Taking a blood test
  • X-ray Imaging
  • Having an ultrasound
  • Dual-energy CT Scan

TREATMENT OF GOUT

Medication treatment of gout involves:

  • Managing the pain of flare and preventing a future attack – It is consists of (NSAIDS) drugs such as ibuprofen, colchicine, etoricoxib and steroids.
  • Preventing future flares – by making changes to your lifestyle.
  • Blocking the production of uric acid– Consist of xanthine oxidase inhibitors
  • Removal of uric acid– Consist of uricosurics and probenecid (Probalan)

Who should diagnose and treat gout?

This disease must only be diagnosed by an expert. A doctor who specializes in treating or caring for gout patients is known as a rheumatologist. They are the one who can determine the signs.

How can I manage my gout and improve my quality of life?

The following can help you improve your life if you have gout:

  • Eating a healthy food and maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Do not eat foods that are high in uric acid and fructose.
  • Perform a regular exercise which suits you.
  • Participate in a physical activity program.
  • Join a self-management education class.