What Are The Symptoms Of Gout?

By: ebookpalace
Gout is an arthritis-based condition in which the body produces high levels of uric acid that forms crystals in the blood. These crystals travel through the body and are deposited in joints throughout the body, usually settling in the big toes, causing severe pain and swelling. An attack of gout usually lasts between five and ten days and is excruciating.

Gout is almost always found in men who are over the age of forty, but it can also occur in women who are in menopause.

No one knows for certain what causes gout, although some studies suggest that there are a number of different causes. There may be a defect in the person's metabolism that causes the body to create and retain too much uric acid. Another cause may be that the kidney is damaged to the point of preventing the disposal of uric acid.

If a person is being treated for high blood pressure, Thiazide diuretic medications may cause an onset of gout. There are certain blood diseases and cancers that may also get it started.

There are four stages in diagnosing gout.

Asymptomatic stage is when the uric acid in the blood is extremely high, but there are no symptoms of gout. No swelling and no pain.

The acute stage is when it is gout is most painful. The pain starts in the joints as a dull ache and quickly becomes excruciating. Swelling soon follows and the affected area will be very hot. Your joints will turn red and look as though you are bruised.

The intercritical stage is when the patient does not have gout attacks on a regular basis. The attack can be spread out between six months to two years of each other. There are reported cases when an attack has not re-occurred for ten years.

The chronic stage is perhaps the worse stage of all. This is when joints are extremely painful because of large crystals that are not only deposited in the joints, but also in between the bones, in membranes and soft tissue.

It is easy to recognize gout because the skin that is covering the crystal deposits develops ulcers that leak. A lesser, but equally painful, symptom is stiffness, leaving the patient unable to move the areas that are affected.

When diagnosing gout, your doctor will order blood tests and x-rays.

The blood tests are to determine the level of uric acid that is in your blood and the x-rays are to find where the crystal deposits are and to determine what the extent of the damage is.

The treatment for Gout is different for each person. Usually it is treated through medication and dietary changes. By following your doctor's instructions, you can lessen the severity of each attack.
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