Excretory System

What is Gout?

  • Gout is a type of arthritis that happens when uric acid accumulates in the joints.
  • There are two kinds of gout: acute gout and chronic gout. Acute gout usually only affects one joint while chronic gout usually affects more than one joint and has repetitions of pain and inflammation.
  • Gout is caused either when your body is producing too much uric acid or when your body is failing to get rid of uric acid.
  • When too much uric acid accumulates in the joints, it causes uric crystals to form. This leads to the joint swelling up and becoming inflamed.
  • The exact reason for gout is not yet known. It may be passed down from generation to generation, and it is more common in people who drink alcohol, take certain medicines including hydrochlorothiazide and water pills, and post menopausal women (women who have stopped having periods).
  • It is also more common to develop in people who have diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, sickle cell anemia and other hemolytic anemias, and leukemia and similar disorders.

What are the symptoms of Gout?

  • Symptoms occur abruptly and commonly involves only one joint or a couple of joints.
  • The most commonly affected body parts include the big toe, knee, and ankle joints.
  • In an acute gouty attack, the pain is usually described as excruciating, throbbing, or crushing, and it often occurs at night.
  • The joint frequently becomes very tender and appears red and warm.
  • A fever may occur.
  • The attack may go away for a few days, and then it may return.
  • People will have no symptoms after the first gouty attack. There are some people who will go for months or even years between gouty attacks.
  • There are some people who may develop chronic gouty arthritis. These people have joint disfigurements and motion loss in the joints. Most of the time, they will have pain in the joints and other symptoms.

Is there any treatment for Gout?

Treatment for an abrupt gouty attack:
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin are taken immediately after symptoms start to appear.
  • Painkillers like codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are taken occasionally.
  • Colchicine is a medicine that reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • The doctor may inject corticosteroids into the joint to relieve pain.
  • The pain usually diminishes within 12 hours after treatment and completely disappears within 48 hours.

  • Medicines like allopurinol and probenecid helps get rid of uric acid in the body.

What are some lifestyle changes that may occur when a person has Gout? How can I prevent getting Gout?

  • Try not to eat/drink alcohol, oils, sardines, anchovies, dried beans and pies, organ meat (livers, kidneys, etc.), mushrooms, gravies, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus.
  • Do not eat too much meat.
  • Try not to eat too many fatty foods.
  • Try not to lose weight too quickly because quick weight loss may lead to the formation of uric acid kidney stones.