Signs of gout, one of the most painful conditions that can occur when too much uric acid builds up in the blood, are relatively easy to spot if you understand the general symptoms. Understanding the signs of gout early on can help to bring proper treatment in sooner and in many cases even lead to preventing reoccurrences of this painful condition.
Gout is an inflammatory condition of the joints, usually in the foot, ankles and knees which is a common form of arthritis. Of those who have been diagnosed with arthritis, about five percent of people will also have conditions of gout. The inflammation is the result of buildup of uric acid in the blood which then sinks into the lower parts of the body and crystallizes in the joints, causing inflammation and considerable pain. Gout can also occur in other parts of the body as well, such as the elbow for example, but such occurrences are generally quite rare unless there has been a previous injury to that joint.
While the kidneys usually filter out uric acid which is then passed out of the body through urine, with gout the uric acid is not removed and the acid will then build up. In some gout attacks the amount of buildup in a particular joint is so great that it actually pushes against the skin, resembling lumpy patches which is one of the signs of gout.
Signs of gout are fairly straightforward. Attacks of gout generally last five to ten days and the symptoms are specific pain the joint areas of the feet, ankles and knees in some combination. A person will feel this arthritic-like pain especially when trying to walk or put pressure on the joint area. Then the gout attack will subside and the joints return to normal.
There are many different causes to gout, but it mostly centers on people above the age of 40 as children have rarely been affected. The consuming of too much alcohol, particularly over a long period of time, the exposure to environmental lead, taking certain medications such as diuretics or niacin for example and undergoing treatments of chemotherapy can lead to the overproduction of uric acid which causes gout. These can serve as links to the signs of gout for easier diagnosis.
But some cases of gout are caused by family history where a person might be more vulnerable if their parents or ancestors suffered from gout. Also a specific injury to that region may also bring about gout as it gives the uric acid a place to gather. Reoccurring painful inflammation of a joint long after it has healed is one of the potential signs of gout.
There are many prescribe treatments as well as home remedies that can effectively reduce uric acid within the bloodstream and prevent the reoccurrence of gout attacks. Drinking more water helps to dilute the uric acid, avoiding alcohol and taking anti-inflammatory drugs will greatly reduce the inflammation. Certain herbal medicines such as devil’s claw root, gingeroot, meadowsweet leaves and flowertops have also shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of gout.
The signs of gout are easy to spot if you know what you are looking for, such as the swelling and pain from joints in the feet, ankles or knees that subside after five to ten days.