Eventhough gout is caused by hyperuricemia (too much uric acid in blood) the exact cause of this illness is still unknown. In any case it is believed that genetics plays an important role in the development of this illness. Pain occurs when the uric acid crystals builds up in the joints
The causes of gouts are several in their nature. We have included a list of them as follows:
Unbalanced diet which causes overweight, drinking too much alcohol every day, eating plenty of meat and seafood or food rich in purine
Using medicines with high content of uric acid to treat other medical conditions, regular use of aspirin or niacin or using diuretics. Diuretics are medicines, which decrease the amount of salt and water in the body
Having high blood pressure, loosing rapidly weight or other major illnesses/medical conditions
Having had a surgery
Having Kelley-Seegmiller syndrom or Lesch-Nyhan syndrome causes to have a partial or complete deficiency in an enzyme that helps to control uric acid levels.
Having been born with a different condition that causes high blood uric acid.
In the same way it is important to be able to recognise the symptoms of gout. These include:
Podagra symptom or warmth, pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness in a joint, usually a joint in the big toe. The pain often starts during the night. It may get worse quickly, last for hours, and be so intense that even very light pressure from a sheet is intolerable.
The joint seems to be infected. Red or light purple skin color is present around the affected joint.
The affected joint has a limited movement
As the gout gets better peeling and itching of the skin around the affected joint is present
It is important to mention that gout symptoms may be different depending on the person. In some cases gout may not be a painful attack. Instead, gout is present almost all the time. This condition is called chronic gout. In older adults it can be less painful and can be confused with other forms of arthritis. In other cases, gout may lead to inflammation of the bursae (fluid sacs), which is in charge of cushioning tissues. Conditions such as olecranon bursitis (bursitis of the elbow) and prepatellar bursitis (bursitis of the knee) can be present if the bursae get inflammed. Other joints such as the ones in feet, ankles, knees, wrists,fingers and elbows may be damaged as well. Some other people develop gout after a surgery or other illnesses. In some other cases, gout appears as tophi (nodules) on the hands, elbows, or ears. It is also possible not to have any of the classic symptoms of a gout attack.
Other gout attacks take longer than one week. In generally they take 7 days. Mild gout attacks may be confused with tendinitis or a sprain. In case of experiencing mild attacks they will last several hours or last for even 1 to 2 days. Severe attacks may last up to several weeks, within half a year for up to 2 years after the first attack. There may be also intervals of many years between attacks. In case gout remains untreated, the frequency of their attacks usually increases over time.
Last, it is highly recommended to immediately contact your doctor right away after having experienced a gout attack in order to test the uric acid levels in your blood and joints so that you can immediately start with treatment. Doctors, who can treat gout include family medicine doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, internist, rheumatologist and orthopedist. In this way, you can prevent having pain in the future and the appearance of complications such as joint destruction and kidney damage.