Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation and usually starts suddenly in a large joint. Gouty osteoarthritis is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint. The most reliable way to diagnose gout is to draw fluid from the inflamed joint and examine it under a microscope to check for uric crystals. Chronic gout is treated with medications that lower uric acid levels in the body. If left untreated, gout can cause irreversible joint damage, kidney problems, and tuberculosis. By changing your lifestyle, gout attacks can be prevented. You must take the medication as directed. Gout attacks can also be prevented by increasing water intake and reducing the consumption of meat, poultry, and other purine foods. Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant tiredness.
If you feel sudden and severe pain in your joints, you should see a doctor. Untreated gout increases joint pain and injury. If you have a fever and your joint becomes hot and inflamed, which is a sign of infection, you should see a doctor immediately.
What causes gout?
Gout raises uric acid levels in the bloodstream, and urea crystals accumulate in body tissues. Accumulation of uric acid in the joints causes inflammation of the joints resulting in pain, redness, heat, and swelling of the joint. Uric acid is usually produced in the body as a by-product of the breakdown of certain proteins called purines. Causes of elevated uric acid levels in the blood include genetic factors, obesity, the use of certain medications such as diuretics, and certain infectious diseases of the kidneys (kidney disease).
Factors that increase the risk of gout?
Several factors contribute to gout. High blood pressure is a factor that increases the risk of gout. Gout usually occurs after surgery, injury, and dehydration. Taking certain medications, such as diuretics (known as water pills) and prescribed to treat high blood pressure, increases the level of uric acid in the blood, and increases the risk of gout. Drugs that lower blood uric acid levels, such as allopurinol (Zyloprim, alloprim), may also cause recurrence of gout at first. This is because anything that increases or decreases the level of uric acid in the blood causes uric acid crystals to accumulate in the joint, resulting in gout. Low levels of aspirin may also play a role in gout attacks. Treatment for some cancers can also lead to gout because the level of uric acid in the body increases when the cancer cells are killed. Analytical or degenerative osteoarthritis also increases the risk of gout in that joint.
What are the signs and symptoms of gout?
- Some of the signs and symptoms of gout include:
- Sudden onset of joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Joint warming under the influence of gout
- Redness of the joint
These signs and symptoms usually occur in one joint. The pain is usually severe and indicates inflammation in the joint. The affected joint is often very sensitive to touch, and people with gout attacks experience severe pain due to very simple events such as the sheets being pulled into the inflamed joint. The affected joint becomes swollen. The medical term for the accumulation of large amounts of fluid in a joint is “joint effusion.”
Gout usually affects the joints of the lower extremities. Gout usually develops in the big toe (the first metatarsophalangeal joint). Podagra is a medical term used for inflammation of the big toe. Gout can also occur in the knee, ankle, wrist, hand, or any other joint in the body. When gout worsens or stays in the body for a long time, it may affect several joints in the body at the same time, causing dryness and pain in different joints of the body.
Another symptom of gout is the formation of the tophus. A tophi is a hard mass of uric acid that accumulates under the skin. Tophus can occur in different parts of the body but are usually found on the elbows, above the cartilage of the ear, and on the surface of other joints in the body. If the level of uric acid in the blood is
higher than normal for more than a year, tufts develop. Tophi is a sign of tophi gout and should be treated with medication.
If gout is not treated for a long time, it can cause joint damage and physical abnormalities.
Kidney stones may also be a sign of the presence of uric acid crystals and their accumulation in the kidney, which has become kidney stones.
When should a patient see a doctor for gout symptoms and be treated?
Lifestyle changes, such as reducing the consumption of foods associated with gout, are the first steps to be taken in the event of gout attacks. In the event of recurrent gout attacks, the presence of kidney stones due to uric acid crystals, the identification of joint damage in X-rays, or when tophus form, medical treatment of gout is essential. Treatment is different for each person.
Diet to treat gout symptoms
If gout is mild, it can be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, but studies have shown that in cases of severe gout, even strict diets do not help reduce uric acid, so medication is necessary in these cases. Medication is usually prescribed to lower blood uric acid levels when gout attacks are recurrent, kidney stones have formed, tufts have formed, or the joint has been damaged by gout attacks.
What foods should people with gout eliminate from their diet?
When certain proteins called porins are broken down, uric acid is produced, so you should avoid foods that are high in purines to control gout. Of course, following a low-porin diet is difficult because Porin is one of the ingredients in most healthy foods. Even if your diet is very low in porins, the level of uric acid in the blood will decrease very little.
The following nutritional principles should be considered to control gout:
Gout is associated with obesity and weight loss is significantly effective in the management of gout. Following a low-calorie diet is very beneficial for weight loss.
A diet low in saturated fat and a diet high in protein and refined carbohydrates (such as sugar, white bread, potatoes) instead of complex carbohydrates (such as vegetables and whole grains) help lower uric acid.
Cut down on seafood and red meat.
Consumption of low-fat dairy products helps reduce the symptoms of gout.
Consumption of sugary drinks with sugar or corn fructose aggravates the symptoms of gout.
Coffee: Researchers have found a link between coffee consumption (both regular and decaffeinated) and low blood uric acid.
Vitamin C: Although no information is available on the effect of vitamin C on anxiety, vitamin C can lower uric acid levels in the blood. Of course, do not think that if a little vitamin C is good for you, then taking too much of it is better, because taking too much vitamin C may raise blood uric acid levels
Cherries: Research has shown that consuming cherries can help lower blood uric acid levels, however, there is no research to investigate the link between cherries and gout.