Signs of Gout
5 Characteristic Signs of Gout
If you have ever experienced debilitating joint pain, especially in the feet and hands, you may be a victim of gout. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that results from an accumulation of uric acid (hyperuricaemia) in the joints. The following lists five characteristic symptoms to look for if you think you are suffering from this painful disease:
- Sudden pain during sleep – Have you ever woken from sleep with severe pain in your foot or hand? Many cases of gout reportedly occur overnight, literally. This condition could very well wake you from sleep because the synovial fluid in the joints doesn’t flow normally, causing uric acid buildup. This will cause swelling and pain seemingly out of nowhere.
- Pain without prior injury – The major difference between a sprained ankle or toe and gout is that the sprain is caused by some kind of impact prior to the pain. If you suddenly have redness, swelling, intense pain in your foot, ankle, wrist, elbow or shoulder, and you cannot remember an event that may have caused it, there is a good possibility that you have gout.
- Pain that gets worse – The pain, swelling and redness of gout will increase with time, unlike other joint injuries. This is because the uric acid continues to build up if left untreated; gout will not subside on its own. It is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to mitigate the extreme discomfort of gouty arthritis.
- Unexplained Pain in multiple joints – Excess uric acid can collect in several different areas of the body. It may start in the base of the big toe (which is called podagra), and travel to the elbow or the wrists or fingers. You may assume this is a condition like tendonitis or strain, but it could very well be gout. The skin may also appear purplish red.
- Extreme Tenderness in the Joints – It doesn’t take much to aggravate gout. The mere touch of a bed sheet can cause extreme discomfort, a characteristic symptom of gout. This is due to the sodium urate which forms under the skin.
Other Facts about Gout
Gout is a tricky condition to diagnose, since it mimics other forms of arthritis. If you experience the symptoms described above, it is very important to seek medical attention. A blood test in combination of aspiration of joint fluid can confirm the presence of uric acid, which is present as needle-like crystals.
People who have gout are often overweight and consume more than a moderate amount of alcohol, especially beer. They may also experience frequent kidney stones. An acute case of gout may subside on its own after two to three weeks, and then reappear. This is because the uric acid building up in your system may go unrecognizable (subclinical) while it is causing serious inflammation.
Once diagnosed, gout can be treated with medications such as Colchicin and corticosteroids like Prednisone. Your doctor may also prescribe Probenecid to hasten the elimination of uric acid through the kidneys, so it is essential to drink plenty of fluids.