Sudden and intense pain in joints might be an indication of gout which is a type of arthritis. In the cases of gout, joints, especially the big toes, get inflamed and swollen which can cause fever and extreme pain to the patients. The gouty area (joints) appears red, swollen and stiff. The pain is unbearable and usually occurs in nights. Though it can happen to anybody, men are more likely to develop gout than women. If someone experiences such sudden attacks of gout (severe pain in joints) anytime, they should consult an orthopaedic immediately to prevent further damage.
Causes of Gout
- Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Generally, uric acid gets dissolved in the blood and passes through kidneys into urine. But when it is not excreted from the body, it starts to get collected and form needle like urate crystals in the joints.
- Some food items can increase uric acid in the body. Examples for some of such food items are anchovies, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, lentils, liver, beef, pork, poultry, fish and seafood.
- Regular or excessive intake of alcohol may increase the risk of gout.
- The symptoms of gout may erupt in those who have patients of gout in their family.
- Those who are overweight, their chances of developing gout are high.
- Similarly, if patients of diabetes, high blood pressure and hypertension do not take proper treatment, it can also lead to other diseases such as gout.
- Those who have high levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood, and whose arteries have become narrow, can develop gout.
Symptoms of Gout
- Gout may affect the joints of hands, wrists, fingers, elbows, feet, ankles, knees etc. but it usually includes big toe joint.
- Initial hours are more critical as the pain during that time is very intense.
- Even after getting their pain relieved, the patients continue to feel uncomfortable for many days.
- More joints might get affected after initial attack causing longer periods of pain.
- Joints get swollen due to inflammation and become red.
- Patients may start to show symptoms of gout after an illness or surgery.
Treatment of Gout
Many diagnosis systems and treatments are available for gout and must be availed on time to be able to cure or prevent gout from getting worse and avoid further complications. To diagnose whether it is gout or something else and figure out the exact cause, doctors may take help of X-rays
, blood test
, joint fluid test and cytology
. Based on the diagnosis, orthopaedic
decides the right treatment.
Doctors’ prescriptions for gout may include the drugs to treat gout attacks and control uric acid in the blood. Some of the drugs used in gout are non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and colchicines
. Some home remedies are also available for gout which have been found very useful in curing gout.
So, there are some things that patients can also do to help curing gout like maintaining their body weight, doing regular exercises
, staying away from alcohol, meat and sea foods, and follow your doctor’s advice to keep uric acid low and continue with the prescribed medication.