Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the affected joints. Gout is more commonly found in men than in women around the world.

Gout is a medical condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints usually in the arms and legs.

When the metabolism of uric acid is abnormal in the human body, there are chances that you can get gout. In this medical condition, excess of uric acid is found in the blood and tissues. Most people who are suffering from gout have either too much of uric acid in their body or they have a serious problem of eliminating uric acid in the right manner. This build up of uric acid in the body can have several consequences such as kidney stones, chronic and acute gouty arthritis and deposits of uric acid locally. Gout can occur in three possibilities—primary gout, secondary gout or associated with other medications or medical conditions.

Causes of Gout

Although there have been speculations about the causes of gout, most scientists are on the same page for some obvious causes of gout. Some of the probable causes of gout are obesity, heavy consumption of beer, very low calorie diets, regular use of niacin, regular use of aspirin, frequent use of diuretic medications, unexpected weight loss, and hypertension.

Symptoms of Gout

The symptoms of gout are usually acute and they would show up without any warning. Some of the most common symptoms are severe pain in joints, itchy and peeling skin later, redness and inflammation, red/purplish skin, less flexibility, fever, nodules and so on.

Self-help for Gout

When you know that you are suffering from gout, you should try some self-help to reduce the pain. First and foremost, you will have to raise and rest your joint and don’t do any rigorous physical activity. It is very rare in gout that your doctor will ask you to wear a splint to restrict the movement of your joint. Always remember that you should never cover your joint and always keep it cool. If you want immediate relief, you should keep an ice pack on the joint. The ice pack will surely help reduce the swelling in the joint area. A word of caution—never apply ice to the joint directly because it can damage your skin. If you want extended relief, you can repeat the ice pack treatment after a few hours. Lastly, drink sufficient amounts of water.

Medications for Gout

When your doctor diagnosis that you have gout, he or she may suggest you some medications as the first line of treatment. Most preferred medications for gout are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—naproxen and ibuprofen. Both these medications have the ability to reduce the inflammation and relieve the pain. There are some conditions for the intake of these medications. If you are suffering from lung or kidney diseases, heart problems etc., then these medications can cause you harm. You will have to tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions, which will prompt him or her to give you alternative medications. If (NSAIDs) are not working for you, then your doctor may prescribe colchicines.

Other Important Points To Keep In Mind

If you are suffering from gout, you will have to refrain from the intake of aspirin because the intake of aspirin can affect your uric acid levels. Avoid foods that are high in purines such as kidneys, liver, oily fish, shelfish, oatmeal, etc.