Gout is a painful condition that is seeing a resurgence of sufferers. This uncomfortable affliction is a form of arthritis, often called gouty arthritis. Gout can affect anyone, but it is most common with people over the age of 30. It is more common in men than women. The causes of gout are mainly diet related. The condition is caused by high levels of uric acids in the body, which collects in the joints and can cause pain. While most gout sufferers have a condition called hyperuricemia, which is abnormally high uric acid levels, not all do. Conversely, not all people with high uric acid levels suffer from gout.
The triggers of a gout attack are mainly diet related. Dehydration is a leading cause of gout pain. Certain beverages can trigger this. Coffee, tea, and alcohol are good examples. Medications can also play a role in gout attacks. Diuretic pills used to treat blood pressure can be a cause of chronic gout. Medications that compromise your kidneys can also be a cause of gout pain. The symptoms of gout can be similar to other forms of arthritis.
Here are 10 of the most common symptoms of gout. If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Pain in the big toe is one of the most notable symptoms of gout, and the sign that often plagues sufferers the most. This symptom, referred to by medical doctors as podagra, is often what brings about a gout diagnosis. Gout strikes due to high levels of uric acid, a chemical created by the body as it breaks down purines in certain foods (i.e., mackerel, anchovies, beer, peas, and beef liver).
In healthy people, uric acid dissolves in blood, travels to the kidneys, and is expelled by the body via urine. However, folks with gout produce too much uric acid or don’t eliminate it properly from the body. The excess acid remains in the blood and causes hyperuricemia. Excess uric acid also accumulates in the joint of the big toe, which result is an incredibly sore toe and an inability to walk. The pain can render you limp until it fades away after a few hours or days.