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Gouty arthritis: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Thousands of different processes are happening in our bodies simultaneously at all times. All of them are controlled by metabolism, either producing or breaking down other elements. The various metabolic processes of our body usually produce waste that is discarded through different mechanisms, among which we have uric acid, which is excreted in the urine.

However, different diseases can lead to the excessive accumulation of these wastes, which in turn causes other alterations that are added to the first disease and can affect different parts of the body, such as, in this case, the joints. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will explain everything about gouty arthritis: symptoms and treatment, a disease that affects a good proportion of the population.

What is gouty arthritis

Gouty arthritis, also called gout, is a type of arthritis characterized by the accumulation of uric acid in the joints, forming crystals that damage the joint, which is a product of the metabolism of a component of medicines and foods called purine, and that under normal conditions excreted through the urine to avoid its excess.

This disease usually appears after the age of 30 and affects men up to eight times more frequently than women. Women are at greater risk of suffering the condition after menopause.

What Causes Gouty Arthritis

When there is an increased uric acid level in the blood due to a health problem, uric acid accumulates around the synovial fluid, a kind of lubricant for the joints, and forms crystals that cause the joint to swell , thus producing symptoms of the disease.

Gouty arthritis can be caused either by an increase in uric acid production or by an alteration in its renal filtration process. Various diseases can produce some of these alterations, among which we have:

Symptoms of gouty arthritis

During the development of the disease, the affected person goes through different stages, which always begin with an increase in uric acid above normal levels without presenting symptoms. When crystals accumulate in the joints, acute gouty arthritis occurs, characterized by sudden pain.

From this phase, it passes to an intercritical stage, where the pain disappears but not permanently since it can hurt again. If the disease is not treated promptly, it goes to a chronic phase, at which point the crystals in the joint cause deformities.

Gouty arthritis is a condition that produces several symptoms, the most characteristic of which is pain in the affected joints. This pain is sudden and can affect one or more joints, of which the most frequent are those of the ankles, knees, and feet. Another characteristic sign of gouty arthritis is tophi; They are bumps around the joints, under the skin, and form when the person has the disease for a long time.

Among other symptoms that gouty arthritis produces are:

  • Night pain
  • Swelling.
  • Fever
  • Shaking chills.
  • Tiredness and general malaise.
  • Joint damage and difficulty of movement.

Treatment for gouty arthritis

Gout treatment requires medications to relieve pain; these are:

The NSAIDs are medications used to reduce inflammation, pain, and fever; as in the case of ibuprofen, the dose should be under clinical judgment. Another possible treatment to improve gouty arthritis is using corticosteroids such as prednisone, which can be infiltrated into the inflamed joint to relieve pain.

Other medications prescribed by the doctor are used to decrease uric acid in the blood, such as Allopurinol, probenecid, or febuxostat.

Other possible recommendations for managing gouty arthritis include:

  • Rest: the person must rest and avoid functional overload
  • Cryotherapy: in the background, it is suggested that the person with this disease place ice on the affected area since ice helps reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Food: it is also recommended to avoid foods that are high in purine, such as red meat, seafood, cauliflower, beans, etc.

Drink plenty of water as it helps lower uric acid levels. For obese people, it is recommended to perform exercises to lose weight and control blood sugar levels. If you drink alcohol, limit your consumption; this decreases the chances of developing gouty arthritis.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Gouty Arthritis: Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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