What Causes Gout?
Gout is caused by the precipitation of uric acid crystals in the joint
Factors that increase precipitation of gout are:
- Increased serum uric acid levels due to overproduction or underexcretion
- Diets that are high in purines such as: meats, seafood, spinach, alcohol
- Medication such as diuretics
What are the Symptoms of Gout?
Symptoms of gout include:
- Sudden onset
- Extreme pain
- Redness swelling to the big toe, and other joints of foot and ankle
- Nodules around the joint
- In extreme cases white fluid being extruded from the joint
- Symptoms may last a few days to several weeks
How to Diagnose Gout?
Diagnosis of gout is done by:
- Taking X-ray to look for joint destruction and arthritic changes and tophi (gout crystals)
- Physical exam to look for findings consistent with gout
- Joint aspiration and confirming on pathology for proper treatment protocol
How to Treat Gout?
Treatment is divided into treating the acute symptoms first and then the chronic long term nature of gout
Acute treatment includes:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Corticosteroid oral medication or intra articular injection
Long term care:
- Patient education with emphasis on diet and overall health to reduce the frequency of gout attacks
- Medication that lower Uric acid levels: the type of medication with depend on the why patient has elevated uric acid levels
- Proper shoe gear and orthotics for better pressure distribution to prevent crystallization of the uric acid.