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Gout - symptoms, types and stages of development


What is gout?

Gout is a type of arthritic disease caused by the deposition of uric acid crystals around and in the joints. Uric acid, which is deposited in the joints of crystals, is the result of the breakdown of purines - the main component of nucleic acids. The disease gout is characterized by recurrent inflammation of the joints and soft tissues, usually of the metatarsophalangeal joint /big toe/. Gout is characterized by swelling, warmth, redness and pain in one or more joints. It occurs in crises, appears suddenly, most often at night and subsides in a few days. Initially, gout appears as an attack of monoarthritis /only on the joint of the big toe/, and with the development of the disease, it occurs as polyarthritis on the ankles, knees and hands. If the process of gout development is already chronic, then tophi /accumulations of urates/ are observed on the joints, which are soft at first, and after time harden.


When and who gets gout?

Excessive consumption of purine-rich foods, meat and offal, protein and alcohol also contribute to the formation of uric acid crystals. The cause of gout can also be prolonged fasting and diets in which the body begins to feed itself with proteins and fats. This raises the level of uric acid and, in the presence of another provoking factor, can cause a gout crisis. Risk factors for gout are: obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, impaired kidney function and taking certain medications. People with gout are only sick during a crisis. To reduce these crises, it is important to follow a well-balanced diet, to regulate purine levels. It is believed that there is a genetic predisposition to the development of gout, but if the consumption of fat, alcohol and protein is limited, the disease may not manifest itself. Men and less often women suffer from gout, because female sex hormones /estrogens/ have a protective effect.

What are the symptoms of gout?


Gout develops over years. The first symptom is an increase in uric acid in the blood and urine, or hyperuricemia. The development of gout begins with redness of the joint. The first attack of gout is usually at night. Sudden and very severe pain occurs, usually in the big toe, but may also affect other joints. The pain of a gout attack is excruciating, affected by even the slightest touch. The leg may become swollen and red. It is accompanied by high fever, headache, sweating. The first crisis of gout passes within a few days. In 10% of cases, such crises do not recur. In the remaining 90% of gout patients, the crises are repeated. They are provoked by the way of eating - the excessive use of meat, alcohol, animal offal, proteins. In the period between two gout crises, the patient has no complaints. But if it is not treated, the crises become more frequent and affect more and more joints. Deformations of the joints appear because urate destroys them and they are difficult to move. Gout that goes untreated for more than 10 years can turn into chronic tophous gout. With it, tophi are formed on the joints - deposits of urate crystals. The most severe clinical picture in gout is the so-called gout status. With it, the patient can have intense and continuous attacks and inflammation of the joints, accompanied by severe pain.


Causes and risk factors for gout


In general, the causes that cause gout are: genetic, internal and external factors. A genetic factor for gout is the lack of an enzyme that is involved in the resynthesis of nucleotides from purines and thus an excessive amount of uric acid is formed. Other factors that contribute to the development of gout are various impairments of kidney function. High blood pressure and certain diseases of the cardiovascular system affect the risk of gout. Atherosclerosis, diabetes, high levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol also affect the development of gout. Of course, diet is also very important. Excessive consumption of purine-rich foods can lead to gout. Reduced physical activity, excess weight, excessive consumption of coffee and alcohol also contribute seriously to the appearance and development of gout. A risk factor is the long-term use of drugs, most often diuretics. Heavy physical exertion and trauma to the kidneys can also trigger gout.


Types of gout and stages of development


According to the clinical picture of gout, several types can be distinguished. An acute attack or crisis of gout with the characteristic symptoms of pain, hypersensitivity and redness of the joint, fever, difficulty in movement. Subacute form, which covers medium and large joints, pain and inflammation are weaker. Rheumatoid gout - typical of the joints of the hands. Pseudophlegmonous gout is also observed - in it, the rate of sedimentation of erythrocytes is increased, he temperature is very high, the affected joints are very inflamed. Regarding the development cycle of gout, 4 stages can be distinguished. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia - before gout is detected and manifested. Acute gout, accompanied by a crisis, which may be provoked by many external factors. There follows a period of interval between two crises. And finally – chronic tophous gout, the last stage in which permanent damage to the joints and kidneys occurs. Not every patient goes through these stages. Timely diagnosis, adequate treatment and the correct and systematically applied diet slow down the development of the disease.


Eating rules for gout


The principles of gout nutrition are the same as those of healthy nutrition. To begin with, body weight should be reduced, but not abruptly, but gradually. It is very important for gout to drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day. Consume more fruits and vegetables. For those with gout, whole grain flours and a moderate amount of protein are allowed. White meat in limited quantities, 1 egg per day, and salmon and trout are not contraindicated in gout. Nuts are very good for gout because of their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as cabbage, apples and cherries, which have been shown to reduce gout attacks. Prohibited foods and drinks for gout are: red meats, any offal, fish and canned fish, mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, legumes, pickles, oil, margarine, chocolate products, carbonated drinks, beer, wine and other alcohol.


Gout - treatment and prevention at the "DORIS CLINICS" medical center


The treatment of gout aims to reduce the acute symptoms, prolong periods without crises, make possible the prevention of kidney diseases, prevent the formation of tophi on the joints. "DORIS CLINIC" Medical Center offers various healing programs based on drug-free methods in combination with successful world practices, which strongly influence the appearance and development of gout.

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