Gout is a condition characterized by irregular metabolism of uric acid. This results to the excess release of uric acid in the tissues and bloodstream.
An individual diagnosed with gout either produce excess uric acid or the kidneys could not properly eliminate them. There are various consequences if uric acid builds up in the body. The condition can develop alone or can be linked with other health conditions or medications.
Possible causes of gout
Uric acid is produced as food is metabolized and when the bodily tissues are broken down during the normal cell turnover process. Some individuals with the condition produce too much uric acid.
Others who have the condition are not able to effectively eliminate uric acid into the urine.
What are the indications?
The initial symptom of gouty arthritis is the abrupt onset of warm, red, swollen, rigid and painful joint. The commonly affected joint is in the foot at the bottom of the big toe where inflammation can be linked to significant tenderness. On the other hand, any joint can be affected. In some individuals, acute pain can be intense that even a bed sheet that strikes the toe can trigger severe discomfort.
If not treated, the initial attacks cease spontaneously, usually within 1-2 weeks. Even though the pain and swelling eventually settle, gouty arthritis typically recurs in the same joint or in a different one.
Over time, the attacks can occur more frequently and even last longer. Even though the initial attacks involve only 1-2 joints, several joints can be affected simultaneously over time. It is vital to note that unrecognized, possibly detrimental inflammation in the joints can occur in between the episodes of evident flare-ups of gouty arthritis.
Kidney stones are likely to occur among individuals with gout. There is also the formation of uric acid crystals outside the joints. The build-up of these crystals or tophi can occur in the elbow, earlobe and the Achilles tendon or in other tissues. Generally, these tophi are not painful.