Gout is a serious problem that confronts many different patients in this country, and knowing how to diagnose it is important.
Gout is a form of arthritis that can be far more painful and debilitating for those who suffer from it. It’s caused by a buildup of uric acid within the bloodstream which causes the development of sharp, hard crystals. Those crystals are then deposited in the joints of the body and trigger pain, swelling, stiffness, and more.
Diagnosing gout can be difficult since some of the symptoms are similar to other issues. The only accurate way to diagnosis it is for a doctor to remove synovial fluid from one of your joints by drawing it out with a needle. This is then sent to a lab where the technician looks for monosodium urate crystals. If they’re present, it’s a clear sign that gout is a problem.
While it’s true that a doctor will have to make the final diagnosis, there are several ways to diagnose gout or to at least identify that it is the likely problem. The symptoms of gout can often resemble other issues, but sometimes they’re easier to spot.
- Severe Pain – Gout features a pain level that is usually much higher than other forms of joint pain or arthritis. If the pain is intense, it may be this issue.
- Burning Sensation – A strong sensation of burning is also a good indication of gout. If it literally feels like your joints are on fire, you may be suffering from this problem.
- Redness – Usually the affected areas become very bright red.
- Tenderness – The joints are usually very tender to the touch with gout.
- Swelling – Swelling is usually much, much more pronounced with gout than it will be with other issues like arthritis.
- The Big Toe – Gout usually begins its appearance in the big toe. This is generally the tell-tale sign that signals that this is the problem you’re suffering from. If the above symptoms present themselves in your big toe, odds are good you have gout.
If these symptoms occur to you, there’s a strong possibility that you’re suffering from the condition known as gout. You’ll need to let a doctor make the final call, but these problems are all a clear sign that the time is right to schedule an appointment with your physician and try to find out just what it is that you’re dealing with so that you can start getting relief from it.