Gout is an extremely painful disorder that usually affects the big toe joint, caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood. Uric Acid is a naturally occurring acid in our bloodstreams but if there is a build-up of Uric Acid, the acid can crystallize and lodge in a joint. It is most commonly seen in men aged 40-60.
The causes of Gout include familial tendencies, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, chemotherapy, stress, certain medications (such as Diuretics) and vitamins (such as Niacin) and certain types of food and drink. Food and drinks that can lead to an elevated Uric Acid level in the blood include shellfish, organ meats such as kidney and liver, red meat, red wine, and beer.
The signs and symptoms of gout involve sudden, severe pain often without a history of trauma in a joint, usually the big toe joint. This is accompanied by swelling and redness with an increase in warmth over the site. The pain often reaches the severity of being unable to tolerate any pressure on the site, such as a sheet from a bed.
The treatment of gout includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication to decrease the symptoms, dietary restrictions, hydration, and restricted ambulation. Sometimes medication is prescribed to be taken on a daily basis to prevent the recurrence of gout. The symptoms usually resolve in several days with treatment.