Gout is a metabolic disease in which the body contains a large amount of uric acid in the blood. Too high a concentration of uric acid in the blood, can not leave the body, so it begins to settle in various areas. The crystals settle in the joint joints, causing an inflammatory process, thus forming gout. Symptoms of pathology are more common in countries with a high standard of living than in countries with a low standard of living. Symptoms and signs of gout
Gout has been developing over the years. There are 4 stages of the disease:
- Stage 1 – idiopathic, characterized by an increased level of uric acid (hyperuricemia), without signs of illness.
- Stage 2 – acute course of the disease. It appears after 30-40 years.
- Stage 3 is critical, occurring between two seizures.
- Stage 4 – chronic course of the disease (damage to joints, kidneys).
The formation of gout is accompanied by various conditions, so, first of all, we consider the causes of its occurrence and risk factors.
Risk factors, Causes of the disease
The causes of hereditary development or its occurrence is due to another pathology. With primary gout, the body forms much more acid than urine. This is due to alcohol abuse, taking medications.
The secondary form is a consequence of the underlying disease, during which uric acid increases. Among the provoking diseases, there are:
- Kidney disease.
- Tumor diseases.
Cell decay is also observed in blood cancer. The cause is an acute inflammation of the joints, mucous membranes of the bags and tendons. In addition, many products are the cause of the disease.
Mostly gout occurs due to a hereditary predisposition. However, the following factors contribute to its development:
- Women at the end of menopause. The likelihood of disease increases with the end of menopause, while fewer hormones prevail in the body that can form a defense against the disease.
- Men between the ages of 30 and 40 are more likely to develop the disease.
- Overweight individuals.
Stage 1 – idiopathic
The first signs of the disease do not always occur, mainly asymptomatic. The first signs occur when the level of uric acid concentration exceeds a certain value, it does not completely dissolve in the blood.
These crystals begin to accumulate in various tissues, joints, causing their inflammation. The first stage is characterized by symptoms of arthritis with rare and short exacerbations. The first manifestations of the presence of the disease:
- stiffness of the joints;
- aching pains that the patient does not pay attention to;
- slight swelling.
Pain, swelling lasts from four to eight days, then quietly disappear. To prevent the onset of an acute attack of the disease, medication is necessary. Even such barely noticeable first signs need to be treated.
Often, primary symptoms are accompanied by other physical phenomena, such as general weakness. The general condition of the patient is disturbed to a large extent. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever, rapid pulse appear.
In the first stage, the concentration of uric acid in the blood is 6.5–7 milligrams per deciliter of blood. In this case, the probability of an acute attack is 2%. The risk of developing an acute attack of the disease increases with an increase in the concentration of uric acid in the blood.
Stage 2 – symptoms of the acute course of the disease
An acute attack of the disease is often manifested due to an increased reaction to alcohol or eaten meat. It arises suddenly. In about 60% of all cases, an attack of gout touches the big toe. The disease affects the hands, ankle, knee joint.
The pain is so strong that it is impossible to touch the affected area. The pain is caused by an inflammatory process that occurs due to the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints.
The first acute attack of gout occurs mainly at night, the patient wakes up with severe pain in the joint. If no measures are taken, the attack can last several days, then the acute pain subsides and for 7-14 days the patient may feel constant mild pain, aggravated by the load on the joint. This condition may last longer, stop when the inflammation begins to subside. Attacks of acute pain pass by the end of the second week.
Signs of an acute attack:
- strong pain;
- skin feels hot;
The acute course is characterized by manifestations of headache, fever, and nausea. The skin of the affected joint begins to peel off, itch. Perhaps lameness will appear. The second attack of gout occurs after several months (years).
Stage 3 – Critical
Between the second and fourth stages, there is a period of calming down of all the symptoms of the disease. Although the patient does not experience any symptoms in the third stage, degenerative changes in the joints do not stop, on the contrary, they are becoming more and more amplified.
The third stage is critical, because it passes without symptoms, so the patient believes that everything is over and does not take any measures regarding the treatment of the disease. Without treatment, subsequent attacks will come again at irregular intervals. The pains become more painful, longer. Attacks gradually spread to other joints, the fingers of the upper extremities most often suffer. Such a disease can be accompanied by an additional infection of the joints (septic arthritis), gradually turning into a chronic stage.
Stage 4 – chronic development of the disease
In the last stage, gout spreads to several joints. As a result:
- severe pains are manifested;
- noticeable limitation of mobility;
- the disease affects the soft tissues;
- round deposits appear under the skin;
- uric acid begins to be deposited in the kidneys.
Crystalline deposits spread throughout the body. Uric acid crystals accumulate under the skin of the arms, elbows, legs, ears, as well as in the synovial bags of the joints. This deposition of crystals makes joint joints fragile and unstable.
In this case, nodules with white spots arise, the so-called tofus. Tofuses are small, hard nodules that form under the skin and have one centimeter in diameter. At first, the nodules are painless, but if left untreated, uric acid will continue to accumulate, which will lead to the following:
- severe deformation of the joints;
- inflammation of the synovial bag;
- the formation of crystalline deposits in the kidneys.
What causes the chronic development of the disease?
If the attacks of the disease occur in the joints in turn, then this is flying gout.
With kidney damage, such complaints arise: Especially vulnerable to chronic kidney disease. Uric acid, which no longer dissolves, is deposited in the kidneys, forming kidney stones. With kidney damage, gout causes colic. In addition, when the kidney stone reaches the bladder, difficulty urinating, sharp pains in the lower abdomen.
- dull pain in the kidneys;
- urine turns red;
- swelling of the ankles;
- swelling of the face after sleep.
Such chronic kidney damage leads to:
- Renal failure.
Diagnosis of the disease
If there is a suspicion of gout, the therapist must collect the medical history of the patient. It includes the following questions:
- Does the family have individuals with this disease?
- Has the patient suffered gout before?
- Is the pain constant or paroxysmal?
- Do you often drink alcohol, fatty meat?
Then the doctor conducts a physical examination. Asks the patient to perform various exercises to determine if there are restrictions on joint mobility. A doctor examines a sore joint for nodules.
Among other things, a blood test must be taken. In a healthy person, the value of uric acid is not lower than 3 milligrams and does not exceed 6 milligrams / 100 milliliters of blood.
Doctors begin to suspect hyperuricemia when a blood test shows 6.5 milligrams of uric acid / 100 milliliters of blood.
After acute episodes of the disease, the previously increased uric acid concentration begins to decline to normal values.
In addition, it is necessary to conduct an examination and study synovial fluid, as well as take crystals (if any) from the bladder. This is necessary to confirm or exclude the progression of the disease.
X-ray studies show the degree of damage to the joints and kidneys.
Prevention of ailment
First of all, preventive methods should be aimed at revising the food consumed.
Persons suffering from the disease should not starve. You can not completely abandon meat products, it is necessary to reduce the use of fatty meat.
- no more than 100 grams of lean meat daily;
- poultry meat is without skin;
- vegetables, fruits can be in unlimited quantities;
- skim dairy products.
Cherries (cherries) are a healthy food, it is especially useful to eat to reduce the symptoms of the disease. A study in which more than 630 patients took part showed that the risk of developing the disease was reduced in patients taking 36 cherries per day. With the regular use of cherries (cherries), the risk of developing an attack of the disease decreases by 35%.
None of the diseases associated with joints can be prevented if sports activity is rejected. It is also necessary to wear comfortable shoes and not overload the joints.
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