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Gout

Gout an inflammatory arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood.

WHAT IS GOUT?

It is an inflammatory arthritis that is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. This can result in sudden and severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. [1]

RISK FACTORS [2; 3]

  • Family history.
  • Gender: seen more in males.
  • Age.
  • Diet: eating excessive red meats and shellfish.
  • Excessive alcohol or soft drinks.
  • Obesity.
  • Recent surgery or trauma.
  • Medications such as thiazide diuretic or low-dose
  • aspirin.
  • Other medical conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart and kidney disease.

CAUSES [2]

  • Excessive intake of foods which contain purine such as red meats, organ meats and seafoods as well as excessive intake of alcohol beverages, especially beer, and beverages which contain fructose sugar.
  • This purine is converted to uric acid in the body which dissolves in the blood and is removed by the kidneys into the urine.
  • High levels of uric acid can cause a build-up in the body which can lead to urate crystals forming.
  • These urate crystals can accumulate in your joints and cause inflammation which then can cause sudden and intense pain.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS [2]

  • *Occur suddenly and often at night*
  • Severe joint pain: often on the big joint of the big
    toe, however, it can occur on any joint. Other common sites are the elbow, knees, ankles, wrists and fingers.
  • Persistent discomfort.
  • Redness and swelling.
  • Decreased range of movement of the affected joint.

COMPLICATIONS [1]

  • Recurrent gout
  • Kidney stones

LIFESTYLE CHANGES [4]

  • Weight loss.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Reduce intake of high purine foods, such as, organ meats, seafood and shellfish, red meats, salty foods, etc.
  • Reduce alcohol intake and fructose sweetened beverages.
  • Get protein from low-fat dairy products. Follow a healthy diet – ask your doctor.
  • Talk to the doctor about taking medication for gout therapy

Medical References

1. Mcintosh, J. [Internet]. Everything you need to know about gout. United Kingdom: Healthline
Media; [Updated 2017 Nov 28; cited 2019 Aug 14]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/article
s/144827.php.
2. Mayo Clinic Staff [Internet]. Gout. America: Mayo Clinic; [updated 2019 May 01; cited 2019 Aug 14].Available from:https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/gout/symptoms-causes/syc-20372897.
3. Arthritis Foundation [Internet]. What is Gout?. America: Arthritis Foundation national; [updated 2019; cited 2019 Aug 14]. Available
from:https://www.arthritis.org/aboutarthritis/
types/gout/what-is-gout.php.
4. Health Library [Internet]. Lifestyle changes to manage gout. America: Winchester Hospital; [updated 2017; cited 2019 Aug 14]. Available
from: https://www.winchesterhospital.org/healthlibrary/article?id=19539.