Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid is deposited in the form of needle-like crystals in body tissues and fluids. This causes chalky uric acid deposits called tophi, to form as a lump under the skin surrounding the joints. Gout mostly affects middle-aged men, and women who have reached menopause. The condition may also develop in people with obesity, diabetes and kidney disease. The major gout symptoms include sudden and severe pains, redness and tenderness in the joints.
What are the major types of gout?
There are three major types of gout, which include:
Podagra Gout: Podagra is a form of gout that involves uric acid crystals collecting in the joints of the big toe. This kind of gout is so painful that the infected person finds it is very hard to wear socks or even let their toe come into contact with bed sheets.
Acute Gout: Acute Gout is characterized by redness and severe pain in the affected joint. Acute gout can affect one or multiple joints, and causes excruciating pain that can last for up to 24 hours before it dissipates. The attacks may go away after a few days but may return from time to time. Additional attacks usually last longer.
Chronic Tophaceous Gout: This type of gouty arthritis is characterized by recurrent and chronic gout attacks. In chronic tophaceous gout, uric acid crystals are deposited in the soft tissues areas of the body, including the ears, over the tips of the elbow and in the fingertips.
What factors can increase the likelihood suffering from gout?
Some factors that may increase the risk of suffering from gout include:
Genetics: Family history of gout can increase the chances of the condition developing in the future generation.
Age and gender: Middle-aged men produce more uric acid compared to women of the same age. However, after menopause, women also produce high levels of uric acid.
Weight: Being overweight increases the risk of suffering from gouty arthritis since there are more fatty cells in the body that require breakdown, leading to the production of excess uric acid.
What are effective gout treatment methods?
Depending on the type of gout you are suffering from, different medications may be prescribed. For instance, your doctor may prescribe strong painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine to treat acute gout. Your doctor may also inject inflamed joints with steroids to relieve pain or prescribe a drug called colchicine to reduce pain, swellings and inflammation. The doctor may also prescribe daily medicines such as probenecid and allopurinol to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood.
Proper gout treatment allows patients to live a healthy life. If you are suffering from acute gout, you should ensure it is treated early before it progresses to chronic gout. For more information about gouty arthritis, and how you can contact an experienced medical professional, visit treating gout.