Gout is one of the most common types of arthritis (joint inflammation). Gout occurs more often in men (mostly middle-aged) than in women.
The emergence of the disease is closely related to the amount of uric acid, which occurs as a result of processing the body of certain foods that are rich in purines.
Normally, uric acid is excreted by the kidneys into the urine. However, in patients with gout, uric acid or too much is produced, or it is poorly excreted by the kidneys, resulting in the body accumulate its surplus. When too much uric acid in the body, it begins to be deposited in the joints in the form of tiny crystals, which results in inflammation and pain. It should be borne in mind that a clear link between the level of uric acid in the blood and the development of gout is not in some cases, gout attacks occur in people who have uric acid levels are within normal limits.
Increased levels of uric acid in the body may be associated with impaired renal function, as well as taking certain medications.
Symptoms of gout
There is severe pain, swelling and redness of the joint (usually one or two). This is an acute condition (often referred to as an attack of gout) may continue for several days or weeks (if not to carry out any treatment). Attack of gout often occurs at night, the joint becomes hot to the touch and very sensitive to even light touch.
It often affects the joints of the thumb on the foot, but may involve other joints (ankle, knee, fingers and wrist). In some cases, while the tendons become inflamed joint.
If gout attacks occur frequently and for a long time, it can lead to serious damage to the joints and to limit their mobility. In some cases, under the skin of the joints or around the ear marked white nodules (tophi), which are an accumulation of uric acid crystals.
What you can do?
It should see a doctor to accurately diagnose. The faster you go to the doctor, the sooner treatment is started. When properly selected treatment of gout is worsening after 1-2 days. If you really have gout, then, in addition to meeting all the requirements of a doctor should be very strict diet.
You are not allowed to use (especially during an exacerbation), all foods rich in purine: organ meats (heart, kidney, liver, brain, etc.), fatty fish (especially during an exacerbation), salted and fried fish, canned food (meat and fish), spicy and salty cheese, red meat and products thereof, bacon, soups with meat, chicken, fish, mushroom soup, smoked meats, legumes (lentils, peas, beans, beans, soy).
You should not drink alcoholic beverages, which increase the uric acid and reduce the excretion of the kidneys (beer, cognac drinks, sparkling and dessert wines).
It is recommended to drink plenty of water and green tea.
In a fit of gout is necessary to ensure adequate rest for the affected joints and to try the least possible injury to the joint clothing or shoes.
Monitor your weight. However, any program of weight loss should be under the supervision of a physician, because sudden weight loss can lead to an exacerbation of gout.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking.
What can a doctor?
The physician should make a diagnosis by conducting a variety of additional studies (including complete blood count and determination of uric acid levels). With long flowing gout may require X-ray examination of the joints.
Doctor may prescribe medication during an exacerbation, give advice on diet and exercise and physical activity.
The results of the additional research doctor will choose the treatment aimed at reducing levels of uric acid in the blood. Keep in mind that the drugs that are assigned during an exacerbation, not intended for long-term use and usually do not affect the levels of uric acid.
Prevention of gout
If your family has gout cases, you are at risk. In this case, it is recommended to control the level of uric acid in the blood regularly and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Gout often occurs in people with overweight and high blood pressure. Proper diet with restriction of meat and other foods rich in purines plays a crucial role in the prevention of gout.