A lot of people have heard that more people every year are being diagnosed with Gout. This brings the question- what is Gout disease? The basic answer is that Gout is a disease characterized by an abnormally large amount of uric acid in the blood. If this excess amount stays in the blood for too long, it will crystallize in the joints and cause very painful discoloration and swelling. At first this is a short attack and the period of time will be around 3-10 days. These attacks can extend for longer periods of time if the disease is not treated.
What causes it? Well there are two main reasons- either the body produces too much uric acid, or it has a problem removing it. Generally the problem is in the removal, not the production. Besides these reasons, there are several other things that affect the chances of gout developing. For example genetics play a major factor, as do gender, diet and habits. For example drinking alcohol such as beer, being obese or eating diet with a lot of animal protein and fat increase the chances of developing gout.
Gout attacks can also be induced by certain things. For example, medication, stress, chemotherapy, trauma and consuming too much red meat or alcohol could induce an attack.
When most people ask their doctor how do you get it, the doctor will tell them several things to do to prevent it. For example, they will recommend cutting back on red meat and alcohol. If the person is overweight, the doctor may recommend the person to lose a few pounds. Because some things can’t be changed (such as genetics or gender), the best way to prevent gout is to change things such as diet and exercise.
Now you might ask what the symptoms are. From a doctor’s perspective, the most noticeable is the higher levels of uric acid. During the first stage of gout, this is the only way to detect the disease. Once it is more developed, the main symptoms are pain, discoloration, and swelling at a joint. Usually the disease develops in the big toe. Usually the area also becomes extremely tender and sensitive, where simply placing a bed sheet on the area can cause pain.
How do you treat it? There are a number of medications that have proven effective to cure this disease. A few examples are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (called NSAIDS), colchicines, corticosteroids, allopurinol and proenecid.
There are also some doctors who teach natural methods to cure gout and other illnesses. These doctors will often focus on methods such as fasting, alkalizing the blood by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, and getting regular exercise. Exercise increases blood flow which rapidly moves necessary nutrients and immune cells to fight the inflammation and disease.
Gout is generally not a very serious disease if treated early. In its first several stages, it will cause some pain but no permanent damage. If left untreated, gout disease does have a chance to cause irreversible damage to the body in the fourth stage.