What is gout


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What is Gout? Gout is a painful condition, often affecting the toes, but it can affect many other joints as well. If left alone it can get worse, turn into a chronic problem and even cause permanent damage.

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What is gout

  1. 1. What is gout?<br />
  2. 2. Gout is a form of arthritis, usually first characterised in an acute attack in the joint of the big toe.<br />
  3. 3. Many times this attack will occur overnight<br />
  4. 4. The affected joint becoming red, swollen and very painful <br />
  5. 5. Usually with no prior warning!<br />
  6. 6. Gout usually affects middle-aged and overweight men, but can affect other people too. <br />
  7. 7. Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. <br />
  8. 8. Uric acid is a natural by-product of the metabolism of purines.<br />
  9. 9. Purines are found in many foods.<br />
  10. 10. If the body cannot break down the uric acid quickly enough, the excess acid will crystallize.<br />
  11. 11. These needle-shaped crystals accumulate in the joints and cause an auto-immune response.<br />
  12. 12. A gout attack will come on suddenly, with no apparent trigger. <br />
  13. 13. The constant slow build up of the crystals in the joint reach a ‘tipping point’.<br />
  14. 14. At which time the body’s reaction is severe.<br />
  15. 15. The joint will swell up, become red, extremely painful and itchy. <br />
  16. 16. The pain will often subside within a few days and the symptoms completely disappear. <br />
  17. 17. However, the underlying cause has not changed. There is still a build up of uric acid crystals in the joint.<br />
  18. 18. Once the first attack has occurred further attacks can be expected.<br />
  19. 19. These can occur even after a long period of being symptom-free. <br />
  20. 20. Subsequent attacks will usually become more frequent, last longer and start to affect more joints. <br />
  21. 21. Once recurrent attacks begin it is usually a sign that it is going to get worse...<br />
  22. 22. ...unless some of the underlying causes are fixed.<br />
  23. 23. Eventually the uric acid crystals will start to cause permanent damageto the cartilage. <br />
  24. 24. They will cause increased stiffness and actually prevent healing between attacks.<br />
  25. 25. It is important to reduce the likelihood of ongoing attacks, as the consequences can be severe.<br />
  26. 26. And they can be permanent.<br />
  27. 27. There are several different factors that need to be addressed.<br />
  28. 28. - Limiting foods rich in purines, - Cutting back on alcohol, - Losing weight, - Eating foods that are good for gout<br />
  29. 29. It's important to address these underlying issues before the gout gets worse. <br />
  30. 30. Which is exactly what will happen if no changes are made.<br />