Gout is a kind of inflammatory arthritis. Gout causes pain and swelling in the joints of affected people. The pain is usually the result of unexpected gout flares that may last a week or two, before getting resolved.
When the human body makes urate in more than necessary amounts, or when the body doesn’t get rid of excess urate, it gets built up. Gout is caused by excessive levels of serum urate in the body, the build-up of which leads to the formation of needle shaped crystals around the joints; leading to gout causing inflammation and arthritis. However, not everyone with high levels of serum urate in their body develops gout.
Areas Prone To Gout
The specific areas of the human body that are prone to get affected by gout symptoms include joints, tendon sheaths-membranes that surround tendons and bursae-the cushion like sacs between bones and soft tissues. Kidneys are major organs that can get damaged due to detrimental gout symptoms. Excess uric acid levels can cause kidney stones and may eventually lead to kidney failure.
Stages Of Gout
The various stages of progression of gout start with hyperuricemia, a condition where the urate levels in your blood are elevated and crystals form in the joints; all without the incidence of any symptoms. Gout flares are sudden attacks characterized by severe pain and swelling in the joints. The time between gout flares is called intervals or intercritical gout with no evident symptoms. Tophi is the later stage of gout where crystal build-ups are spread to the skin and other parts of the body, leading to permanent damage to joints and internal organs like kidneys.
People Susceptible To Gout
Gout is more common in men than women. More middle aged men develop gout symptoms than women of the same age. This is mainly because women are protected to a certain extent from gout symptoms before menopause. Many women, however, have been observed to develop gout after the onset of menopause. Gout rarely affects younger people, but when it does, the symptoms are usually severe and difficult to manage.
Gout is a rare form of arthritis that is easily manageable with proper diagnosis, good treatment and conscious lifestyle changes. With early diagnosis and the right kind of effort, gout flares can be avoided and the severity of the symptoms decrease over a period of time, with a good scope of finally becoming free of gout.