Gout: How Do You Know You Have Gout?

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Gout

Gout is considered as one of the more painful illnesses in history. Also medically known as metabolic arthritis, this health condition is brought about by the abnormal accumulation of uric acid crystals between the joints of the body. As the amount of these crystals increase, the surrounding tissue gets more and more inflamed, and therefore, increasingly painful as well.

One of the most common reasons why gout gets diagnosed only in the later stages is because most people do not even know that they have them until they experience that redness and swelling of the affected area coupled by that characteristic excruciating, burning gout pain.

So readers, try not to get caught off guard with this ailment. Have an early diagnosis by watching out for gout symptoms or warning sighs listed below:

1. Gout pain usually occurs in the joints of the big toe first (also called the gout toe), before any other parts of the body. The episode usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the area coupled with pain. Thorough time, the redness, the swelling and the pain will alleviate until you the patient experiences difficulty in moving the affected area. This pain is actually recurrent and can sometimes “mysteriously” disappear, which are known as “gout attacks”.

2. Unlike the common arthritis that happens at one area at a time, gout attacks can take place at several areas of the body, all at the same time. Joints in the ankles, wrists, knees and elbows are also the most frequently affected areas by gout.

3. A fever usually occurs during gout attacks. This fever can sometimes last through weeks at a time.

Once you detect these symptoms, ask for medical help as soon as you can. The most definitive way to diagnose gout is by extracting synovial fluid form the affected area and examining its microscopic components through light microscopy. The presence of monosodium urate crystals in the fluid would be a definitive symptom of gout.

Aide from that, another helpful medical procedure that can detect gout is an x-ray of the affected area. For those who have experienced several attacks of gout already, doctors can actually see a crystal deposits and bone damage in the affected area.

Classic symptoms of gout can be treated successfully. It is also very important to have a definite diagnosis because there are other conditions that mimic the symptoms of gout. These conditions are pseudo gout, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. And sometimes, even a simple infection could mimic the condition as well.

So readers, take all these into mind. Early detection always means early intervention and earlier cure. Gout when allowed to continue without proper treatment can lead to severe bone damage, loss of activity and even more excruciating pain. Even a slight touch of a blanket was said to be extremely painful for the patient with a prolonged gout condition. So avoid these things from ever happening to you; educate yourselves on gout symptoms and seeking appropriate medical help once you have detected these signs.