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What is Gout?

Definition of Gout

A gout is one of the most frequently referred medical diseases in the human history. An abnormality in the ability of the body to process the uric acid causes gout. Too much uric acid is built up either due to excessive intake of uric acid (i.e. from a rich diet such as seafood, chocolate or red wine) or even our body’s inability in processing it. Then uric acid crystallizes in joints primarily, ankles, toes, wrists & hands, thus resulting in painful inflammation known as gouty arthritis or gouty attack. In very severe scenarios, the increased uric acid could lead to kidney stones & blockages in tubules or kidney filtration system & permanent damage to the kidney or also a kidney failure.

Whom does gout affect?

Gout is more common amongst males as compared to females. It is also comparatively more common later in the life with most of the patients who have had attacks post 50 years of age. If your parents have got gout, you may be at an increased risk of having gout.

Risk factors for gout are:

  • Obesity
  • Moderate or heavy intake of alcohol
  • Excessive weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney function abnormality

Some of the medicines like water pills or diuretics & having low thyroid hormones could also be the risk factors to get gouty arthritis

Symptoms of gout are:

Large joint around the base of the big toe is the most common area for the gouty attack but, any other joint area could also get affected. The other joints that are most commonly affected are the knees, ankles, fingers, wrists & elbows. Patients having gouty attacks suffer from the frequent onset of pain within affected joint then swelling, redness & severe tenderness. Some patients experience pain which is so intense that even a slight touch of bed sheet feels excruciating. Such painful attacks could last from hours till many days. In the cases of chronic inflammation, this attack could last for many weeks.