A surprisingly common type of arthritis, gout is characterized as a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. An abnormality in the breakdown of uric acid is linked to gout, kidney stones, and even kidney failure if left untreated.
Most patients describe gout as a sudden, intense onset of pain in the joints that typically starts in the joint surrounding the big toe. Gout pain and inflammation develop rapidly, and patients often notice swelling, redness, and tenderness around the affected area.
Unlike other types of arthritis, the symptoms of gout typically develop suddenly, usually at night. Some of the most common symptoms of this painful condition include:
Once the most severe symptoms of gout start to fade, you may continue to feel sore and uncomfortable for several days, or even weeks.
High levels of uric acid in your body put you at risk of developing gout. There are a number of factors that increase your uric acid levels over time, including:
Your risk of developing gout is higher if you have a family history of the condition.
Overweight individuals typically have higher levels of uric acid, and their kidneys have trouble breaking it down.
A diet rich in meat, seafood, sugar, and alcohol puts you at a higher risk of developing gout.
While gout can strike anybody, at any time, the painful condition tends to affect men more often than women. However, menopausal women are also at risk of developing gout.
High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease put you at a higher risk of developing gout, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms of the condition. Hypertension medication like thiazide diuretics and low-dose aspirin can increase your uric acid levels.
For more information about gout and gout treatments, call Mind, Body & Spirit Med Center or book an appointment online today.
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