Anyone can develop gout, a common and complicated form of arthritis. One or more joints, most frequently the big toe, experience sudden, intense bouts of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness.
Gout attacks can come on abruptly, frequently causing you to wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though your big toe is on fire. Even the weight of the bedsheet may appear terrible on the affected joint, which is heated, swollen, and extremely sensitive.
In the sections below, learn more about gout, what causes it, and the risks associated with the condition.
The inflammation and excruciating pain of a gout episode is brought on by the accumulation of urate crystals in your joint. When your blood has a lot of uric acid, urate crystals can develop. Purines, which are naturally occurring chemicals in your body, are broken down by your body to form uric acid.
Some foods, such as red meat and organ meats like liver, contain purines as well. Anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna are some examples of seafood high in purines.
Higher uric acid levels are encouraged by alcoholic beverages, particularly beer and liquids sweetened with fruit sugar.
In a healthy person, uric acid dissolves in the blood and is excreted in the urine by the kidneys. However, your body occasionally secretes too little uric acid, or your kidneys create too much.
A joint or the tissue around it may develop pointed, needle-like urate crystals as a result of uric acid buildup, which can result in swelling, pain, and inflammation.
Gout attacks nearly generally come on quickly, frequently at night. These are a few of them.
- Intense joint pain: Gout can affect any joint but typically affects the big toe. The elbows, wrists, fingers, ankles, and knees are other joints that are frequently impacted.
The pain is likely to be at its worst four to twelve hours after it begins.
- Persistent Pain: Some joint soreness may last for a few days to a few weeks after the most intense pain has subsided. Later episodes are probably more prolonged and likely to involve more joints.
Joint swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness result from the inflammation.
- Limited range of motion: As gout gets worse, you can find it difficult to move your joints regularly.
If your body contains excessive quantities of uric acid, you are more prone to develop gout. Diet, weight, health issues, some medications, family history, age, sex, and recent surgery or trauma are a few things that can raise your body’s uric acid levels.
Consuming foods and beverages sweetened with fruit sugar and eating a lot of red meat and shellfish raise uric acid levels, which raise your risk of developing gout. The risk is also increased by alcohol consumption, particularly beer.
Being overweight causes your body to manufacture more uric acid and makes it harder for your kidneys to get rid of it.
Your risk of gout is increased by a few illnesses and circumstances as well. Untreated high blood pressure and chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart and renal disease are some examples of these.
Low-dose aspirin and several drugs used to treat hypertension such as thiazide diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers can also raise blood uric acid levels.
The use of anti-rejection medications that doctors provide to organ transplant recipients can also prevent rejection.
You are more prone to get gout if other family members have the condition. Men also have gout more frequently than women do, partly because women’s uric acid levels are typically lower. However, after menopause, women’s uric acid levels begin to resemble those of men.
A gout attack can occasionally be brought on by recent surgery or trauma. A flare-up can also occur in some patients after having a vaccine.
If you get sudden, severe joint discomfort, contact your doctor. If left untreated, gout can harm joints and cause severe pain. If you have a fever and a hot, swollen joint that feels infected, get medical help right once.
If you need gout treatment like an ultrasound-guided joint injection in New Jersey, be sure to visit the Center for Arthritis & Osteoporosis.
We adopt the finest treatment procedures and diagnostic modalities to manage disease states, working to support our patients from pain to recovery. Contact us today for a consultation.