Suddenly, you notice pain in your big toe. You don’t give it importance. As the days increase, you start to worry. You can barely walk anymore, you go to the doctor. You have a gout attack, he tells you, what about what is gout?, you answer with the feeling that your finger is going to explode.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH), “Gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in the joints, usually in attacks that last 1 to 2 weeks and then subside. Often the gout attacks start in the big toe or in a lower extremity.
I’m 23 and have had arthritis for a decade, but the doctors said I made up the pain for 5 years
It occurs when high concentrations of a substance called serum urate (uric acid) in the body. As this happens, needle-shaped crystals form in and around the joint, causing inflammation and arthritis in the joint. However, there are many people with high uric acid levels who do not have gout.
Men are more likely to get gout than women, they point out in the same article, and it usually appears in middle-aged people. Young people rarely develop it, “but if they do it tends to be more severe.”
Why do you have gout?
The next question is obligatory, “why me”?, although it is likely that in the hospital you will be a little finer: “and why do you suffer from gout?”.
The answer, in this case, is given by the Mayo Clinic: “Urate crystals can form if you have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are substances that are naturally present in the body.”
Purines are also found in certain foods, including red meat and organ meats, such as liver. Fish and shellfish rich in purines they include anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and beverages sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose) promote higher uric acid levels.
Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys into the urine, but sometimes the body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys excrete too little, they explain.
In addition to the foods discussed, the Mayo Clinic also details other risk factors that increase the level of uric acid in the body:
- Weight: If you are overweight, the body produces more uric acid, so it is more difficult for the kidneys to eliminate it.
- medical conditions: Some diseases and conditions can increase your risk of gout. These include untreated high blood pressure and chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart and kidney disease.
- certain medications: Low-dose aspirin and some medications used to control high blood pressure, including thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and beta-blockers, can also increase uric acid levels.
- family history of gout: If other members of your family had gout, you are more likely to have the disease.
- Recent surgeries or trauma: Sometimes having recent surgery or trauma can trigger a gout attack. In some people, getting a vaccine can trigger a gout flare.
How is gout cured?
You know what you got, too what is goutyou have been told that the drop in the foot, you can even intuit why you are suffering from it. It only remains that you know the treatment. Don’t worry, because at the NIH they make it clear that “with early diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle changes, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis“.
The doubt about how gout is cured They clarify it from the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is, they explain, a medical treatment plan for gout:
- Managing the pain of a crisis: Treatment of seizures consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, steroids and the anti-inflammatory called colchicine.
- Prevent future crises: Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as losing weight, limiting alcohol intake, eating fewer purine-rich foods, may help prevent future attacks. Changing or stopping medications associated with hyperuricemia (such as diuretics) may also help.
- Prevent the formation of tophi and kidney stones as a result of chronically high uric acid levels: Tophi are hard deposits of uric acid found under the skin. For people presenting with acute crises or chronic goutdoctors may recommend preventive therapy to lower uric acid levels in the blood.