Gout is a form of arthritis that results to abrupt, severe episodes of pain, redness, tenderness, swelling and warmth in some joints. It typically affects one joint at a time but can involve a few or even several.
The big toe is usually affected but other joints in the leg can be affected and even in the arms in rare instances.
Frequency of the episodes
The episodes of gout might recur from time to time in the same or another joint. The initial attack might last for several days up to 2 weeks unless treated.
After some time, the episodes might occur frequently and can affect more joints with severe symptoms that lasts longer. The repeated episodes can damage the affected joints. The bumpy buildup of uric acid uric acid or tophi might form near the joints, within bones or in the skin.
Some only experience a single episode. Nevertheless, most cases who experienced one attack will have at least another, but it might not arise for several years after the initial episode. In some cases, the attacks can arise every few weeks.
What are the signs?
- Abrupt, severe joint pain that initially arises during the early morning hours
- Reddened or purplish skin surrounding the joint
- Tender, distended joint that is warm to the touch
Management of gout
Always bear in mind that there is no available cure for gout, but it can be controlled. The symptoms might be reduced drastically within 24 hours once treatment is started. The episodes can be prevented with proper therapy to reduce the blood uric acid level.
The treatment given is based on various factors. In most cases, gout is treated with medications.
- Anti-inflammatory medications – these drugs work by reducing the pain and swelling. They are taken until the gout attack fully settles.
- Medications affecting the uric acid levels – in some cases, drugs that lower the uric acid in the blood is given. These drugs are recommended for individuals who suffer from several episodes of gout.
In terms of the diet, limiting the intake of certain foods such as fructose that contains corn syrup that increases the production of uric acid are helpful. Additionally, reducing the intake of alcoholic beverages must be observed as well.