What is it and what are the symptoms?
Gout is a type of arthritis and is painful. Gout is caused by having too much of the chemical, uric acid, in your bloodstream and results in a build-up of crystals in one or more of the foot joints.
- Sudden severe pain in a joint – usually your big toe, but it can be in other joints in your feet, hands, wrists, elbows or knees.
- Hot, swollen, red skin over the affected joint.
What causes Gout?
The crystals are made of uric acid, a substance that is found in many foods and usually excreted by the kidneys. People who produce too much uric acid, or whose kidneys do not excrete it enough, are predisposed to the development of gout.
When the levels of uric acid in the blood are high enough, it begins to collect as crystals in joints which leads to pain and swelling. Gout most often affects the base of the big toe, but can affect any joint.
Your diet plays an important role in both causing gout and reducing the likelihood of suffering further painful attacks of gout. If you already suffer from gout, eating a diet that is rich in purines can result in an increase of gout attacks.
Your GP will confirm the presence of gout. You will usually require a blood test to see the level of uric acid in your blood.
What is the treatment?
Acute attacks of gout are treated with anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by your GP.
As uric acid is made in the body from the breakdown of purines that come from your diet, it is advisable to reduce the amounts of foods that you eat that are high in purines.
Loosing weight can also help reduce gout attacks.
Contact the team on 02392 388149 or 07795 522700 for a consultation and treatment.