Gout is considered as a type of arthritis that usually develops on the joints at the base of the big toes, but can also affect other joints in the feet as well as the knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders and hands. It is important to note that gout is initiated once the sharp crystals of uric acid which is a byproduct of cellular division and death starts to accumulate in the joints. The accumulation of uric acid crystals can also occur in other tissues such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. These deposits are known as tophi are likely to occur among those in which gout is not properly controlled.
Elevated uric acid
Individuals with elevated blood levels of uric acid are at high risk for gout. The uric acid in the body is normally eliminated via the kidneys, thus kidney disease can increase the uric acid level by disrupting the excretion process. Among individuals who have gout, the decreased elimination of uric acid can be a hereditary trait. Any scenario that increases the cellular turnover such as leukemia, psoriasis or cancer chemotherapy can increase the uric acid levels as well. The intake of alcohol which enhances the production of uric acid and block its elimination as well as drinks that contain fructose can interfere with the excretion of uric acid are considered as other contributing factors.
Accumulation of tophi in cool areas
Gouty tophi typically form when the uric acid levels are highly elevated. If gout is not properly treated, it will increase the risk for the tophi. Since the uric acid crystals are triggered at low temperatures, tophi tend to develop in cooler parts of the body such as the elbows, ears, kneecaps, Achilles tendon or under the skin of the feet and hands. Since tophi are comprised of uric acid crystals, the doctor would take a sample to diagnose the gout.
What happens during the advanced stage?
Individuals who have tophi have suffered through several bouts of gouty arthritis. Tophaceous gout indicates an advanced stage of gout that can be prevented with proper treatment. Once treatment is started, the tophi typically disperse as the spare uric acid is steadily eliminated from the body. Take note that tophaceous gout requires a lifetime of therapy. An effective management of the condition would require more than just a single medication.
Gout is a disease that can be cured. The effective management typically involves dietary changes such as limiting alcohol and sweetened beverages as well as eating less meat and seafood. Those who are overweight are advised to lose weight. As for those who have uric acid kidney stones, they are encouraged to drink at least 2 quarts of water on a daily basis.
In case of an acute attack of gout, it can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications. The doctor might add other medications such as colchicine for immediate relief and gradual resolution of tophi. As long as the individual will stick to his/her treatment, it can control the condition and prevent complications from occurring. Proper management of the symptoms of the condition can help provide relief. It is time to take a course of first aid in Vancouver today so that you are prepared.