Gout is one of the oldest and most painful forms of arthritis. It affects roughly 3.9 percent of adults in the United States, amounts to approximately 8.3 million people. This condition can cause sporadic bouts of pain in the joints and in areas where gout materializes.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have this condition, contact Arthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic today. We can offer you medical advice, evaluate your symptoms, and help you explore treatment options.
What is Gout? What does gout look like?
Gout is a form of arthritis that develops when urate crystals form in the tissue. Urate crystals are a byproduct of certain biological processes involving the metabolism. In a healthy body, uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine. People who develop this condition have elevated levels of uric acid in their blood. This chemical travels through the body and deposits in areas where soft tissues like cartilage tend to reside.
What are the Symptoms of Gout?
The most common symptom of gout is podagra, which is redness and swelling of the joint of the big toe. This symptom occurs in about half of all patients affected by the disorder.
Other symptoms can include pain or swelling in areas such as the
The effects of this disorder change as the individual ages. It is important to understand that gout may go into a state of remission. If the uric acid levels in the body continue to remain elevated, crystals can continue to develop and cause damage.
Because the condition can snowball if it’s left untreated, it’s critical to seek help if you suspect you may have gout or are at risk of developing this condition.
Genetic and environmental factors are the most influential risk factors for developing gout.
Some of these risk factors include
- Having family members with a history of the disorder
- Having impaired kidney function
- Being male, as 80 percent of people affected by gout are men
- Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or eating foods rich in purines
- Exposure to lead
- Being the recipient of an organ transplant
Fortunately, many of these risk factors reveal the ways that the disorder can be controlled.
Preventing and Managing Gout
Changing your diet, using alternative forms of medication, and losing weight are some effective ways to prevent flare-ups.
In more advanced stages of the condition, a personalized treatment approach is required. This can involve the use of certain medications that treat arthritis, corticosteroids, or medications specifically designed to aid in the removal uric acid from the body. Stubborn cases of the disorder have responded well to the biologics treatments we offer.
If you are having difficulty managing your condition or have questions about treatment options, contact us today. Our trained doctors can provide a customized treatment plan to meet your needs, or point you in the direction of someone that can.