Gout is a type of arthritis. Gout symptoms can appear as a sudden attack of pain and burning, stiffness and swelling in the joint (usually in the big toe). These attacks can occur again and again unless the gout is treated. Over time, these attacks can damage joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is more common in men.
Being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, or overeating meat and fish that contain high amounts of chemicals called purines will increase your chances of developing gout. Also, some medications, such as diuretics, can cause gout.
Gout symptoms have three stages, with many people never experiencing the third stage.
Large amounts of uric acid cause gout in the blood (hyperuricemia). The exact cause of hyperuricemia is unknown, although hereditary factors (genes) play a role in the occurrence of this disease.
Uric acid may crystallize and accumulate in the joints.
This causes pain and other symptoms.
Gout can appear suddenly without a specific cause, or the following factors can cause it:
Gout symptoms include:
Warmth, pain, swelling and sensitivity to intense touch in the joint (usually the joint of one of the big toes). This symptom is called podagra, which is one of the gout symptoms. The pain often begins at night, may worsen rapidly, last several hours, and be so severe that even the slightest pressure is unbearable.
Among other gout symptoms, the skin around the affected joint is red or purple. The joint may appear to be infected.
If the affected joint becomes limited in movement, it is a gout symptom.
Scaling and itching of the skin around the joint, at the same time as the gout attack subsides
Occurrence of different symptoms of gout
Some people do not experience gout as a painful attack. Instead, they have Gout almost all the time (chronic gout). Chronic gout in older people may be less painful and may be confused with other types of arthritis.
Gout Symptoms may lead to soft tissue inflammation of fluid sacs (bursae), especially in the elbow (elbow bursa) and knee (prepatellar bursitis).
Gout symptoms can also affect the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.
Its symptoms may appear after an illness or surgery.
Gout Symptoms may initially appear as a nodule on the hand, elbow, or ear. The patient may not have any of the classic gout attack symptoms.
Many other conditions have symptoms similar to gout.
When you have gout, uric acid crystals can go years without causing any symptoms; They form on your joints. If the blood level of the ovary is very high, These crystals are formed between the space of two joints. Depending on the hardness of the crystal formed, swelling, inflammation and pain will vary from person to person. The skin on the joint where the crystal is formed; In some cases, it is shiny and may be flaky. This type of sudden gout pain usually occurs quickly and often at night.
This sudden pain usually disappears after five to seven days but can last longer. If gout is not treated, sudden pains become more common and may spread to other joints.
Sudden gout pain usually starts in the big toe joint, often in the early morning. Any light contact with the affected joint is excruciating; Even the weight of socks can be unbearable. Although gout symptoms most often affect the big toe, other joints may also be affected, including:
Sometimes gout symptoms are observed in many of these joints simultaneously, But usually, the symptoms of this disease are not common in the spine, shoulders or pelvis. The sudden pain of Gout Symptoms is widespread in the end joints of the legs and arms, such as the fingers and toes. One of the reasons for this is the low temperature of this part of the body, a condition that causes crystals to form in the body.
The degree of sudden pain of Gout Symptoms may vary from person to person. Some people only experience flare-ups every few years, while others may experience flare-ups every few months. Without medication, the frequency of sudden pain or gout symptoms will increase, affecting other joints as well. Among the complications and effects of gout on other parts of the body are:
Narrowing of the arteries can lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart problems.
Osteoarthritis occurs when urate crystals and hard tophi cause joint damage.
Increased risk of kidney disease or worsening if you already have it.
Increased risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer
Mental health problems, including depression
However, it should be noted that by taking medicine to reduce urate levels and having a healthy diet and lifestyle, most of the damage and complications caused by gout symptoms can be controlled and reduced.
Several things cause urate crystals to form; These are:
As soon as you notice the onset of a gout attack, you should take any prescribed medication as soon as possible. These drugs will gradually take effect within two or three days.
Lie down and raise your legs.
Avoid hitting or damaging the affected joint.
Keep your joint cool. Remove the clothing around it and place an ice pack over it, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel.
Keep the ice pack on your joint for about 20 minutes. Please do not touch the ice pack directly on the skin for over 20 minutes because it can damage your skin.
The treatment of gout symptoms varies depending on how far the disease has progressed. The most common drug treatments to reduce the pain caused by gout symptoms are:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually recommended as first-line treatment for gout. The action of these drugs reduces pain and inflammation during an attack.
If you cannot take NSAIDs, or if these drugs are ineffective, you can use colchicine instead.
In addition to drug treatments, experts believe that gout can be treated with regular exercise and efforts to reduce pressure on the affected joints and healthy diets, while in acute and severe cases of gout pain, joint replacement surgery will be the only treatment option.
You can reduce your risk of gout attacks by making lifestyle changes to lower uric acid levels. These changes include:
Avoiding foods with high levels of purines, such as red meat, offal, fatty fish, seafood, and foods containing yeast extract, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, as they are associated with an increased risk of gout.
Gout is a common form of arthritis that affects the joints and is usually accompanied by pain, swelling and stiffness in the joint area. An excessive increase in blood urate levels is the leading cause of gout. If the kidneys do not naturally excrete the excess urate, urate crystals form on the joints. To treat urate, drugs are usually prescribed to reduce inflammation and urate levels. People can reduce their risk of gout by avoiding foods high in purines, which the body converts to uric acid, staying hydrated, and avoiding alcohol. To diagnose and treat gout symptoms, visit an orthopedic specialist and do not start treatment arbitrarily.
Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.