Gouty arthritis, or gout as it is commonly called, is a condition where there is too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid are created as the body breaks down purines, which are found in certain foods and drinks, such as wine, bear, beans, peas and anchovies. When too much uric acids form in the blood stream it forms uric crystals that get deposited into various tissues, including the joints. These crystals may affect one or several joints in the body at one time causing pain, swelling and inflammation and other symptoms of gouty arthritis.
The big toes is one joint commonly affect by gouty arthritis. However, the elbows, wrists, ankles, knees and fingers may also be affected with gouty arthritis. There are several symptoms associated with gouty arthritis, including sharp pains, tenderness, swelling and redness of the affect joint or joints. These symptoms generally occur at night. Those who suffer with gouty arthritis state that they have unbearable pain that gets worse when they attempt to move. There are two types of gouty arthritis known as primary and secondary. Primary is caused by a defect in metabolism in purine, while secondary is commonly caused by kidney disorder.
Men have an increased risk of this condition than women. Other risks of gouty arthritis include a family history, obesity, drinking alcoholic beverages, a diet rich in protein or a low calorie diet. Some medications also increase a person’s risk for gouty arthritis, such aspirin and diuretics. Medical intervention is needed to reduce the amount of attacks and help treat the symptoms of the gouty arthritis attacks. The doctor will assess the patient’s symptoms, ask questions and do a medical exam. Blood sample are often taken as well to check for uric crystals in the blood.
Treatment for gouty arthritis often includes medications that lower the uric acid levels in the blood and prevent the buildup of uric acid in the blood. The medication dosages are often decreased as the symptoms of gouty arthritis decreases. However, many patients are required to take medications for the rest of their lives. Pain medications are given to ease the discomfort of attacks. A doctor will also recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to help the patient avoid further gouty arthritis attacks. Some doctors recommend a gout diet low in purines to help reduce the amount or uric acid produced and ends up in the blood.