How is Gout Diagnosed?

Gout Medications
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Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation and pain in joints. Gout in toe is the most evident one. The joints of gout patients frequently become red and swollen. Gout incidences in people are rooted in diet, other health problems or genetics. When the levels of uric acid in blood shoot up, gout symptoms start to show.

When the levels are high in body, uric acid starts crystallizing and the crystals get deposited in the joints and tendons. The uric acids levels in joint fluid should be analyzed and there is no point in analysis of blood uric acid levels because this will usually stay normal. Regular inclusion of meat and soft drinks in diet can increase gout risk.

Knowing Whether You Have Gout

Gout disease is scientifically hyperuricimea, which is a condition where there is an excess of uric acid in joint fluid. Pain in the base of toe is a common symptom of gout and if you have this symptom don’t wait to consult a doctor. Several methods of gout diagnosis exist.

X-Ray Analysis

Plain X-Ray analysis is the most common diagnosis method but it is not useful in diagnosing early gout. Plain X-rays only help in identifying chronic gout with symptoms like bone erosion.

Synovial fluid test

The synovial fluid is examined to identify the deposition of monosodium urate crystals in the synovial fluid. Monosodium urate deposit is commonly called a tophus. Basically, a synovial fluid test identifies a tophus. Synovial fluid is collected from the joint capsule using a syringe and without time delay, it is examined. When the WBC level per in synovial fluid is between 2000-50000, and the neutrophil percentage is 50-80, it indicates that the person has gout.

Make sure the test is performed soon after aspiration, because temperature and pH changes have effects on solubility.

Blood Tests

Even though raised uric acid level is a visible feature of gout, people with hyperuricimea do not have gout in more than fifty percentage of the cases. Thus, the efficacy of analysis of uric acid levels to diagnose gout is debated. Blood tests like white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate etc are usually employed in gout diagnosis.

Differential Diagnosis

Septic arthritis is mistaken to be gout due to the similarity in symptoms. But they aren’t the same. This is where differential diagnosis is required. It is  used when people show signs of infection but do not improve with treatment. When differential diagnosis is performed, septic arthritis and diseases showing similar symptoms of gout can be clearly diagnosed.

An early diagnosis of any disease is half the work done. Early detection of gout can help in fast cure and can help the patients choose better diet options.