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A Primer on Gout
- Dr. Ahmadi
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A result of having too much uric acid in the joints, gout is considered a form of arthritis. It affects both men and women of all ages, although it is most commonly found in men who are over 40 years old. Understanding gout begins with understanding the symptoms, potential causes, and its treatments. There are some symptoms of gout that could mimic other diseases, so it is important to always check with your doctor if you have any symptoms.
What are the symptoms of gout?
The most common symptom of gout is an excruciating pain in the big toe or foot, and if often starts without warning. This pain can make the foot uncomfortable to the touch and can actually make walking nearly impossible. Many individuals who have gout begin experiencing the pain at night, which causes them to wake up from sleep. The knee and the ankle can also be affected by gout, but the big toe is the most common joint affected.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid within the joint. This could be due to a body’s inability to get rid of the uric acid and can be the result of taking in too many things that increase the amount of uric acid in the body, like organ meats, gravy sauces, and beer. The components of these foods and beverages cause uric acid to build up and can help prevent the body from releasing the uric acid.
How is gout treated?
The easiest way that doctors are able to treat gout is to get the patient on a regulatory medicine. In combination with a balanced diet that is low in foods that can trigger gout attacks, patients are able to see a great decrease in the amount of gout episodes that they have. For individuals who are having extreme gout attacks and need immediate relief, there are medicines available that can help the body expel uric acid very quickly.
Gout is a problem that can be easily treated with a balanced diet and medications. It is important to always see a doctor when symptoms of gout are present in order to receive an effective diagnosis and to eliminate more serious issues.