Gout also called as the “rich man’s disease” is a disease caused due to increase in the levels of uric acid in the blood. Signs of gout symptoms have even been recorded in ancient times as well. According to a recent study, in the US alone, there are more than 5 million people affected with gout symptoms. Mostly, gout attacks males more than females. Men who reach the age of 75 are most vulnerable to this disease and women may get affected after their menopause.
Gout is an ongoing disease and needs to be treated immediately or else it may lead to serious issues. As a person who has been affected with gout and having undergone all the pain that is associated with this disease, I’ve successfully come out of this disease with continued medication and leading a proper lifestyle with the right kinds of foods. Hence, thought of writing this article to help people understand more about this disease and take immediate treatment when they encounter any of these gout symptoms.
What is gout in the foot and what causes it?
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that forms in people having higher levels of uric acid in their blood. This uric acid may develop into some kind of crystals in the shape of needles in your joints and could cause acute pain for several hours and also could lead to swelling of the area. Gout symptoms can be identified if you see tenderness in the area along with the formation of redness in the affected area.
The condition of having higher levels of uric acid in the blood is termed as hyperuricemia and not all people affected by hyperuricemia is affected by gout, but it is certainly one of the important aspects that may produce gout. The higher the uric acid levels in your blood, the chances are high that you may get affected with gout. It is also being presumed that people with the habit of taking too much alcohol are people who are obese can also cause gout. People having the habit of eating meat and fish a lot are bound to get affected by gout as fish and meat contains gout causing chemicals like purines in them. Gout is also a genetic disease as you can easily get affected if any of your family members have been affected by gout earlier.
How do you know you have gout?
Gout can be easily spotted as you can see some sort of redness or a kind of tender swollen in the joints and it may be painful at times. If you see these signs, you can be sure that you are affected by gout and it is better to consult a doctor for the next steps in treatment. When you get affected by gout, you could also notice some kind of swelling in the base of your toe in the foot. Other signs that let you know that you have gout when you see the same kind of swelling in ankle joints, knee joints and other joints in your hands. These swelling occur due to the sudden shoot-up in the levels of uric acid and the acid getting converted to crystals called tophi.This crystal formation is only seen as a swollen area in your joints. When the levels of uric acid get much higher, there are chances that you may get affected by chronic arthritis as these crystal form much harder causing the bones in your joints to get eroded. It is also a known fact that the increased levels of uric acid in your body also causes kidney stones. So it is always better to have your uric acid levels tested regularly and avoid foods that may increase your uric acid levels.
People affected with severe gout conditions can feel extreme pain in the area that even rubbing or cleaning the area with a soft cloth may cause severe pain. This condition is also known as podagral where the base of your big toe is mainly affected. Other gout symptoms are if you feel pain in the joints, high fever or feel tired all the time etc. There are chances that when you see gout symptoms for 2-3 days and it may automatically getting disappeared, but it is definitely possible it may return in other joints. Hence it is important to consult a doctor the moment you see any gout symptoms.
What is the first sign of gout?
As explained earlier, Gout is a condition in which the area that gets mainly affected is your joints in your body where you can feel small arthritic inflammations occurring in the joints. Having successfully overcome gout, I know each and every symptom of gout and how much pain it can be when you have severe gout conditions. Other first signs of gout include when you see swelling in the joints, feel some kind of irritation or a burning sensation in the area. This kind of burning sensation or swelling of the joints is caused due to the formation of crystals due to excess levels of uric acid in your blood.
Here are some other gout symptoms that can serve you as a warning that you may be affected with gout:
When you get affected by gout, one of the first symptoms to show is in your joints. Some of the common symptoms in the joints include your joints become swollen, become soft and tender when you touch the joints or even become hot and feel irritated in the joints. People experiencing these types of conditions may have a hard time doing even the simple activities like walking around the house or doing other odd jobs that involve your joints. Even wearing shoes could become so painful when you get severely affected by gout.
People affected by gout also experience severe pain in the affected area and pain levels getting aggravated as time passes. Most of the time, people may feel these severe pain during the night time and could feel the pain getting worsen to cause excruciating pain that even a simple touch on the tender joint may cause extreme pain. According to doctors, the reason that this extreme pain is felt during the night is because of the reason that your body temperature may be lower during the night when compared during the daytime. This lower temperature is ideal for the formation of crystals in the affected area and thus causing immense pain.
Long lasting arthritic symptoms
It is possible that you may notice some symptoms like joint tenderness and severe pain in some joints and slowly fading away automatically after 2-3 days. But that doesn’t mean that you are free from gout as it may return in some other joints after some time. Also, the intensity of gout symptoms may vary from person to person and also the severity of the symptoms may increase with time. The intensity of the symptoms is also largely based on how much severely you are affected by gout.
Another common gout symptom that many feel and even I felt when I first noticed that I have been affected by gout is to feel some itching sensation in the skin. Once the itching sensation in the skin gets severe, you can also notice the skin getting peeled off around gout affected area. The peeling of the skin could lead to more excruciating pain when the skin below the peeled skin is not completely healed.
Other common gout symptoms noticed by many affected by gout is to notice a kind of red skin formation around the affected area. Mostly this redness of the skin is noticed in the bigger toe of your foot.
Along with other gout symptoms, you may also get affected with high fever. You don’t necessarily feel worried when you have high fever alone, but when high fever accompanies along with swollen joints and red skin formation or any other gout symptoms, then you may be affected by gout and it is the right time to consult your doctor and proceed with the treatment.
People who may get affected by gout but still haven’t found out that they are affected by gout may also determine if they have gout if they sense that they are not able to move freely around like before. Because when you get affected by gout, the joints become swollen and tender which may cause extreme pain that can increase if you move around. Hence you can sense reduced mobility when affected by gout.
Gout symptoms may not be the same with everyone as two persons affected by gout may have different symptoms. The intensity or the severity of the conditions may also vary from person to person. People coming out of a surgery are also likely to get affected by gout.
Other areas that may get affected with gout is your ankles, wrists, knee joints etc. One important thing that you should remember is that since most of the gout symptoms are also associated with other common diseases, it is extremely important to consult your doctor to get it confirmed and take the necessary treatment.
What are the early symptoms of gout?
Some of the early symptoms that you may notice if you have gout is when you feel some sort of discomfort in your joints, knees, wrists, ankles or feet. And if you notice that this discomfort turns into a painful sensation or continues for a long time, then it is high time you may need to consult a doctor, check your uric acid levels and get yourself diagnosed and treated, if gout is confirmed.
Even though gout is not a serious issue when compared with other diseases, as gout can be easily treated if identified early. But when you leave gout untreated, it could definitely lead you to serious conditions that may even cause death. Hence it is important to have your uric acid levels checked twice or thrice in a year to keep it in check.
Also, having some basic knowledge about gout is helpful at all times as it may assist you in detecting the early symptoms and getting treated immediately. One of the main causes of severe gout problems is because of people not aware of these symptoms and leave it is as simple issues that may lead to severe chronic illnesses.
Symptoms in points
Some of the gout symptoms are pretty much easy to find as basically gout attacks mainly on the joints and in areas around your feet. If you do feel that you feel any aches around the joints, then it is also a clear indication that you may have gout. Some other early symptoms of gout symptoms that you may notice are:
- When you have frequent acute arthritis attacks
- Sudden shoot-up of uric acid levels in the joint fluids
- Sudden attack of arthritis and getting matured within a day that results in red skin formation over the affected area
- Ball of the big toe getting affected with arthritis
- Sudden tenderness in the joints
- Unexpected pains and aches in only a single or a couple of joints
These symptoms may also be caused due to other kinds of infections like damage of cartilage in the joints or any other kind of reasons. Hence, it is extremely important to have you diagnosed for gouty arthritis and take the optimal treatment and come out of this painful disease as quickly as possible.
If you have been already diagnosed with gout and have experienced frequent arthritis attacks, then it is important to follow the medication prescribed by your doctor. These people should only be diagnosed by a doctor specialized in gout treatment as they are ones that can provide the right kind of treatment and get you free from gout.