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Gout Symptoms, Gout Treatment

Gout Symptoms

  • Low grade fever.
  • Painful red, hot, swollen joints.
  • Insomnia from pain. Even light touch from a bed sheet can be intolerable.
  • Peeling skin over the affected gouty joint.
  • Podagra. This is gout in your big toe. It is the most common affected joint in gout so much so that it has its own name, and is usually the first joint affected.
  • Gout tophi. These are hard buildups of crystal deposits in skin most commonly over the elbows and ears.
  • Gout uric acid kidney stones.

Gout Causes

Gout is caused by too much circulating uric acid precipitating out of fluid in joints and tissues.This excess is caused by an enzyme deficiency that should breaks down purines allowing uric acid to build up. Too much uric acid in joint solution is like too much salt in water - the water can only hold so much then no more will dissolve. Common uric acid crystal precipitants include:

  • Surgery. Breakdown of muscle and tissues releases extra uric acid load.
  • Infections
  • Inactivity
  • Obesity. A bigger body means a bigger uric acid load.
  • Trauma to a joint. The jolt of an injury and inflammatory responce can trigger uric acid to come out of solution.
  • Cold weather. Warm liquids can hold more salts.
  • High purine diet.
  • Dehydration. Less solution means less ability to keep uric acid dissolved.

Gout Diagnosis

  • High uric acid levels on blood testing suggests active gout diagnosis.
  • Syringing out some of the fluid of a swollen joint and looking at it under a microscope special light will show gout uric acid crystals.

Gout Treatment

  • Rest the affect joint. Splinting the joint helps by forcing the joint to rest.
  • Eat a diet low in uric acid load.
  • Keep hydrated. Getting your fluids in everyday reduces dehydration and increases your capacity to carry uric acid without it precipitating to crystals.
  • Allopurinol is a medication used to reduce frequency of gout attacks by lowering uric acid levels.
  • Probenecid is another gout medication which reduces gout attacks by increasing uric acid excretion by your kidneys.
  • Diuretic blood pressure medications can increase uric acid levels. They may need to be changed by your doctor if you have frequent gout attacks.

Gout Foods to Avoid

  • Avoid Red Meats
  • Avoid Seafoods
  • Avoid Beer

Red meats, seafoods and beer are high in purines.

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    Last Updated:
    April 22 2016
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