King of Diseases – Gout By Ramani Iyer
Gout is a painful disease, in fact excruciating and unbearable pain, which increases in duration in continued attacks,which are also at irregular intervals. The condition of gout occurs when high levels of uric acid collects around the joints, due to decreased kidney function. This is strongly associated with obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes.
Joint inflammation is caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the joint fluid (Synovial fluid which is a clear fluid found in joints, acting as lubricants.)and joint lining. Intense joint inflammation occurs when white blood cells engulf uric acid crystals causing pain, heat and redness of joint tissues.
Causes: Due to defect in metabolism that results in over production of uric acid or reduced ability of kidney to flush out uric acid, Gout occurs. It causes painful arthritis , especially in joints of feet and legs. Certain drugs which interfere with uric acid excretion may also cause gout.
Symptoms: Gout develops gradually or sometimes suddenly with severe symptoms of excruciating pain in one or few joints. The pain will be throbbing. Excruciating pain in ‘big toe’ in recent past may indicate gout. The affected joint appears warm, red and tender. It may disappear in a few days but might recur at irregular intervals. Each occasion, duration of pain increases.
Men, postmenopausal women are people prone to this disease. People with kidney disease, diabetes and obesity have high chances of getting gout. In this condition, uric acid in blood may be greater than 7.5mg/dl.
Treatment: Adequate fluid intake, weight reduction, dietary changes and reduction of alcohol and medication are the steps to follow in the treatment. Avoiding food with high pureen content is mandatory.
Though Gout is not completely curable with medication, treatment can prevent further damages.
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