Causes, signes, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, and traitment of gout, a serious health problem affecting many people each year.
Signs and symptoms
- Sudden onset of extreme pain along with warmth, redness, swelling, and inflammation in the affected joint is one symptom of gout. The metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) is the first joint affected in 50% of cases of gout (podagra). The first few attacks of gout usually affect only a single joint. Later attacks may involve several joints, simultaneously or sequentially.
- Serum triglycerides are elevated in 80% of people with gout.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) is present in in 25-50% of people with gout.
- Fever is not uncommon during a gout attack.
- Presence of uric acid crystals in joint fluid
- A diet which consists of purine-rich foods
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Abnormal kidney function
- Lead poisoning
- Genetics (our inherited genes)
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Certain medications increase the risk of developing gout.
. Salicylate-containing drugs, such as aspirin
. Diuretics (medications taken to eliminate excess fluid from the body)
. Ccyclosporine (a medication that suppresses the body’s immune system)
. Levodopa (a medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease)
. Niacin (a B vitamin which is sometimes used to treat coronary artery disease).
- Certain primary diseases and conditions:
. Leukemia and other blood cancers
. Hemoglobin disorders
People can help prevent or reduce the severity of future gout attacks.
If their doctors have prescribed medications to reduce hyperuricemia, it is essential that they take them as instructed.
Maintaining adequate fluid intake (drinking plenty of non-alcoholic beverages) is recommended for gout prevention. They have to reduce or stop their alcohol intake and to adjust their diet. They have to eat a balanced diet following the dietary guidelines. Drinking at least 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of water or non-alcoholic beverages every day is recommended to people trying to prevent future gout attacks.
Maintaining their ideal body weight is an important goal for people who have gout. If they are overweight, they have to take steps to lose weight. They have to choose portions that allow them to maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight may decrease uric acid levels in their body.
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Gout: the disease of kings (Photo credit: DanCentury)