Most patients with gout discover that they have this condition when their big toe hurts. Pain in the toe’s joints is the typical indication of gout. Gout, however, is not confined to pain in this area. It also impinges on other joints in other areas of the body. Also, even though it tends to affect a single joint most of the time, there are occasions when pain is evident on two or more joints at the same time.
Gout is not restricted on the joints of the feet. It may come as a surprise to most people that even soft tissues like the heart, as well as the joints of the vertebrae, can likewise be affected.
Gouty arthritis, however, is more frequent in the big toe. It can also affect the ankle, in what is known as gout ankle.
Most of us would have observed by this time that gout seems to affect the older people – men past 40, as well as women who are post-menopausal. We often think of gout as a medical condition affecting men and women who are advanced in years. Because of this, most young people who have gouty arthritis often find their condition diagnosed incorrectly. The pain is often taken to be a result of a sprain or cellulitis.
Because such misdiagnosis is not far-fetched, if you think you have gout, defer treatment. Do not immediately apply the more common medications for the condition. You have to be a hundred percent sure that it is indeed gout that you are suffering from.
Reaching a conclusion that you have gout can be a bit complicated. A high level of uric acid in the body is often an indication of gout. But not all people with increased uric acid have gout. But if your blood sample is taken during a gout episode, and the blood test shows that you register a high level of uric acid, your physician is likely to recommend treatment for gout.
There are people who go through one gout attack, and that is it for them. Another episode may recur after quite some time – a year or a couple of years, perhaps. But if you notice that your gout attacks recur repeatedly and with short intervals in between attacks, you should consult a doctor straight away.
Your physician is likely to tell you to get yourself tested for the condition. The laboratory examination will include the extraction of fluid from the painful joint which is then put under microscopic examination. The appearance of monosodium urate crystals in the fluid will mean a positive sign that you have gout. There may be other types of crystals in the fluid. These may be indications of other conditions, but not of gout. These may require treatments specific to the conditions. It is the monosodium urate crystals, however, that are a telltale sign of gout.
The urate crystals found in the joints may be jagged and pointed. They tend to tear the tissues surrounding the joint. Curtailing motion is recommended. If you move the joints often, you will be exposing the tissues to greater injury. Drugs which are anti-inflammatory in nature are usually used to address the swelling and the pain. Taking a lot of water will also help to wash out the crystals and cleanse the system.
Gout ankle or gout in any other parts of your body, for that matter, should push you towards making necessary changes in your diet. You have to curtail your intake of certain foods. It is also a smart move to bring your weight down so that you do not press too much on the joints. You have to help yourself. Determine what causes your joints to flare up and deal with them appropriately.2016-08-06