Gout has all the potential to be a serious disease if left untreated. People who are suffering from this disorder can attest to how painful it can be. It results in an inability for some people to metabolize and excrete excess uric acid.
The excess uric acid is converted to sodium urate crystals, which are then stored into the joints and other adjacent and related tissues. This is why some people can mistake it for a “regular” arthritis.
This can be avoided by adapting a purine-free diet, which is composed of anything but foods like shellfish and organ meats.
Pain. As you can probably guess by now, these accumulations of uric acid in the joints make for a really painful and stiff inflammation of the joint, which is often accompanied by fever and chills. Even if the pain may be recurrent, the episodes become longer as each year passes. It also resembles arthritis in that joint pain starts up early in the morning, but in some cases, pain may immediately be felt while sleeping. Ultimately, some destructive joint changes may happen if left unsupervised, like the development of tophi in and around several joints. Also, some complications may develop like kidney stones, which can lead to chronic renal disease and, if untreated, kidney failure.
Tophi at greater toe
Symptoms of Gout of Big Toe
- Gout affects several joints in the body, with the great toe being the anatomical part that is affected the most. For that reason alone, gouty arthritis almost always refers to the area in the big toe. Just like those listed above, intermittent pain is often experienced, with it being described as “sharp” and “pinprick” in nature.
- Because the pain and swelling is so great, some people may find themselves to be involuntarily immobilized for an amount of time, and may often find that even a thing of the slightest weight placed upon their toe (a blanket, for example) would be really unbearable.
Symptoms of Gout of Foot
- Even though the big toe may be affected first by gout, it’s a sure thing that it will spread over to other areas, like the foot, for example. Some people may even be unaware of it and think they have just unconsciously injured their foot. Just like the big toe before it, redness and pain will be felt at the foot, but some victims may be surprised that the foot is cool to the touch.
- The slightest pressure applied to the foot may also be excruciating to some, like wearing socks or shoes, or even flip-flops!
Symptoms of Gout of Ankle
- There are several cases reported over the years of ankle gout being mistaken for a sprain or a skin infection. But things like this do happen, where the gout starts from the ankle instead of in the toe or the foot. If anything, the pain is even worse when the ankles are affected. Remember that the ankle is the joint most responsible for bearing the most of our body weight.
- Whereas gout in the foot may necessitate one to use crutches, the affected ankle may force one to be completely immobilized due to the fact that the strain on that area is just too much to bear, even when they’re only standing.
Symptoms of Gout of Fingers
- Sure, the victim may move around if s/he is affected by finger gout. But that doesn’t mean that the pain is any less devastating. If anything, the attacks on the finger last much longer than attacks on the lower extremities (the average attack lasts from 3-10 days).
- If that occurs, the possibility for developing tophi on the fingers and knuckles will be much greater, since the sufferer will be unable to even bend his/her fingers due to the incessant aching.
Symptoms of Gout of Women
- Men over 30 years of age are statistically more vulnerable to gout. But due to several lifestyle habits over the years, women are also being affected in increasing numbers, as well.
- Women who are in the stages or past menopause are at increased risk of acquiring gout, due to the fact that estrogen is one of the hormones regulating uric acid levels when they’re younger.
- At first glance, there’s nothing much different between the gout attacks of men and women.
- However, the concentration of pain in women is “less intense” due to it being more diffused in nature. However, that makes it more difficult for doctors to diagnose, and due to the fact that women are statistically more prone to other diseases, the possible treatment for gout may even be hampered by these other disorders.
- The more serious complication of this is the women developing tophi in the joints without ever knowing that they have gout in the first place.
- If you are a victim, or consider yourself as a potential candidate, of gout, then don’t let this disease allow your body to be debilitated.
Treatments are available nowadays for people with gout to get on living with their lives. Please ask your doctor for more information regarding gout.