Gout consists of a specific type of arthritis that involves the buildup uric acid in the blood. This accumulation of uric acid causes inflammation of a certain joint. Typically, gout may affect only one or two joints. The most common joint to be affected is the big toe, although a knee or ankle may also develop gout.
Although, gout it is known that gout is caused by uric acid in the blood, it is unknown as to why some people develop gout and others do not. It is possible that gout runs in families. However, a person’s chance for developing gout increases if he or she is overweight, drinks excessive amounts of alcohol, or eat too much chemical-laden meat or fish. Certain medications may also cause gout.
Symptoms of Gout
Gout will generally only affect one or two joints. An attack of gout will normally occur quite suddenly during the nighttime. The attack will be accompanied by throbbing or intense pain, swelling, and redness of the joint. In a few instances, fever may also occur. The pain may last for a few days or a few weeks.
Treatment for Gout
Initially, gout can be treated at home with ibuprofen or some other type of anti-inflammatory over the counter medication. However, do not take aspirin as this may make the gout worse by raising the levels of uric acid in the blood.
People, who experience an attack of gout, should seek treatment from a doctor. While it is possible that there will not be another reoccurrence of gout, approximately half of all people will have another episode. A doctor may choose to treat extreme pain with a shot of corticosteroids, or prescribe other medications.
Prevention and Gout Remedies
A doctor may choose to prescribe medication to prevent any future incidents of gout. Many people will need to take this medication for the duration of their lives.
For others, medication may not be needed. It may be possible to prevent many future outbreaks by making lifestyle changes, mostly through diet. A gout diet will consist of limited or total avoidance of alcohol. Also, limiting the intake of meat and seafood at each meal will help reduce the chemicals that may cause gout. It may be helpful to avoid fatty foods such as ice cream and fried foods.