Getting To Know What Gout Is

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Arthritis is a common condition—most especially among the elderly and when we speak of arthritis, most people will only associate it to one predominant condition among patients with the disease. The truth is, arthritis is a general term for an inflammation of the joints. There are three main forms of arthritis and each of them have their own specific signs and symptoms, as well as treatments.

Types of Arthritis

The first type of arthritis is osteoarthritis and this is the most common type of arthritis and affects mostly the elderly. The second form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis which can affect people of all ages. This one has a genetic tendency. The last form and probably the most painful of all forms is gouty arthritis or simply called as GOUT.

What Is Gouty Arthritis?

Gout or gouty arthritis is due to the inability of the body to metabolize and digest a specific by-product of protein called uric acid. What happens with gout is that the excess uric acid in the blood tends to accumulate. A distinct thing about uric acid is that it has a high affinity to the joints in our body and tend to stay and build up there. This leads to the crystallization of these uric acids, subsequently leading to signs and symptoms of gout.

Joint Pains. This is a cardinal sign of any arthritis attack but in terms of gout, severe joint pain is one of the most common signs and symptoms of gout. Pain results from the contact that uric acid crystals exert on the joint tissues and muscles. Joint pains are very much pronounced especially at night, making people with gout experience insomnia and trouble sleeping. Gouty joint pains affect not only big joints but even the smallest joints like the joints of the big toe (where gouty inflammation is most pronounced). Similarly, finger’s knuckles is a common target of uric acid crystals.

Reddish or “Bruised” Appearance of Joints.  The joint of a person suffering from gout will appear to be erythematous or bruised in some cases. This is due to the trauma and damage that uric acid crystals give to the tissues inside. Also, warmth, tenderness and extreme sensitivity of the joints is present. This is one of those common signs and symptoms of gout.

Itchiness and Peeling of Skin in the Affected Joints. Due to the inflammation of the joints, the skin will definitely be stretched. When the swelling subsides, the skin may appear dry and feel itchy. Also, peeling may be noticed most especially in cases where inflammation has become so severe.

Limited Joint Movements. Another popular item in the list of common signs and symptoms of gout is an impairment or disability in the movement of joints and extremities. Therefore, walking and even turning in the bed will be so excruciating, that even the cover of the sheets will make you cry for pain.  

Appearance of Nodules in the Body. Uric acids may form clumps and may be deposited in body areas like the ear lobes, elbows, fingers—these are called tophi.



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