Gout is a type of rheumatic arthritis that affects the joints, tendons, and other tissues of the body. Often referred to as ‘gouty arthritis,’ gout is intensely painful and can become extremely damaging if left untreated. The medical practitioner is fully aware of what causes gout, therefore treatment is required immediately to correct the problem.
Gout attacks generally occur during the night. The attacks occur suddenly and may last anywhere from a few hours up to several days. In some cases, the attacks may reoccur months or even years later. A single joint is usually affected and most often it is the big toe.
Other joints such as the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist or elbow may be affected also. During attacks, you will experience sharp pain, redness, swelling, tenderness and warmth. With that being said, it is important to know what causes gout in order to protect yourself from further attacks in addition to tissue and/or organ damage.
Gout is the result of an accumulation of excess uric acid in the blood. This uric acid buildup leads to the formation of hard uric acid crystals that deposit in the joints. Excessive uric acid is generally due to practicing an unhealthy lifestyle. Specifically, individuals that are overweight, drink alcohol excessively or eat inappropriately are in high risk of developing gout. More so, people who consume foods that are rich in purines increase the risk of developing gout.
Medical healthcare professionals have discovered that certain medications, such as diuretics, can cause uric acid levels to increase. This confirms that people who are hypertensive often experience gout. Bottom line, too much uric acid destroys the kidney’s ability to function properly; making it difficult to excrete the chemical or toxin.
As you can see, it is rather simple to identify what causes gout. When you experience such symptoms, you must contact a physician immediately. Physicians will first provide gout therapy that focuses on easing the intensity of the pain. After which, the main focus will be to lower the level of uric acid in the body.