Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints, particularly in the feet and toes. It is caused by an excess buildup of uric acid in the body, which forms sharp crystals that can accumulate in the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling.
Uric acid is a waste product that is normally excreted by the kidneys. However, when there is too much uric acid in the body, it can form crystals in the joints and surrounding tissues. Factors that can increase the risk of gout include genetics, certain medications, obesity, high blood pressure, and a diet high in purines (found in foods such as red meat, shellfish, and alcohol).
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Gout Meaning in Urdu
Symptoms of gout
Symptoms of gout usually come on suddenly and can be very intense. They can include:
- Joint pain: The most common symptom of gout is joint pain, which usually begins in the big toe but can affect other joints as well. The pain is typically very severe and may be described as throbbing or burning. The affected joint may also feel hot, swollen, and tender to the touch.
- Redness and swelling: In addition to pain, gout can cause redness and swelling in the affected joint. The joint may appear inflamed and may be difficult to move.
- Limited range of motion: As a result of the pain, swelling, and inflammation, the affected joint may be difficult to move. You may find it difficult to walk or perform other activities that require the use of the affected joint.
- Fever: Some people with gout may also experience a low-grade fever, which is a sign of inflammation.
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Treatment of Gout
The treatment of gout aims to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, prevent future attacks, and lower uric acid levels in the blood. The following are some of the treatment options for gout:
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation during an acute gout attack. Corticosteroids may also be used to treat severe gout attacks. In addition, medications such as allopurinol, febuxostat, and probenecid can be used to lower uric acid levels in the blood and prevent future gout attacks.
- Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, limiting alcohol intake, and eating a diet low in purines (found in foods such as red meat, shellfish, and alcohol) can help prevent future gout attacks.
- Cold compresses: Applying a cold compress to the affected joint can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Rest and elevation: Resting the affected joint and elevating it above the level of the heart can also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
It is important to note that gout is a chronic condition and requires ongoing management. If you have been diagnosed with gout, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
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Preventing gout attacks involves managing your risk factors and making lifestyle changes to reduce the buildup of uric acid in your body. The following are some strategies that can help prevent gout attacks:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity and excess weight are risk factors for gout. Losing weight can help lower your risk of developing gout and reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol can increase the production of uric acid in your body and make it harder for your kidneys to remove it. Limiting your alcohol intake, particularly beer and hard liquor, can help reduce your risk of developing gout.
- Eat a low-purine diet: Eating a diet low in purines can help prevent gout attacks. Purines are found in high concentrations in red meat, organ meat, shellfish, and certain types of fish. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can also help reduce your risk of gout.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help flush uric acid out of your body and prevent the buildup of crystals in your joints.
- Take medications as prescribed: If your healthcare provider has prescribed medications to manage your gout, it is important to take them as directed to prevent future gout attacks.
- Manage other health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can increase your risk of developing gout. Managing these conditions can help reduce your risk of gout and prevent future attacks.
By making these lifestyle changes and managing your health conditions, you can help prevent gout attacks and improve your overall health and well-being.
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