Consult an Online Doctor For Gout Attack

Gout

Gout is commonly considered a form of arthritis that results in severe pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the joints.  It usually targets the metatarsophalangeal joint which is located at the bottom of the big toe and is caused by crystallized uric acid building up in the joints.
Gout is one the most commonly recorded medical illness in history and more than 3 million Americans suffer from gout, especially men. Moreover, it’s a recurring condition that can cause tissue damage in the longer run, essentially making the pain worse.  

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Gout attacks can occur suddenly and frequently. Most patients describe the pain by relating it to the feeling of the foot being on fire.

Stages and Types of Gout

Gout progresses through several stages. These stages make up the different types.  

Asymptomatic hyperuricemia

As the name suggests, at this stage, a person with high uric acid levels shows no apparent symptoms. No treatment is necessary but there is a risk of silent tissue damage.

Acute gout

This stage is basically a gout flare and causes inflammation and a lot of pain all of a sudden. It lasts anywhere from 3 days to up to 2 weeks. This stage can be caused by alcohol consumption or stress.

Interval or anticritical gout

This is the stage between acute gout flares. As gout progresses, the intervals between flare-ups become shorter.

Chronic tophaceous gout

This stage is the most concerning one as it causes a lot of weakness and the patient may have permanently damaged joints and kidneys as a result of this. It can also result in chronic arthritis and also develop tophi.  
Luckily, gout progresses to this stage much later, and only if acute gout is left untreated.  

Pseudogout

This is actually a different sort of condition that has very similar symptoms to gout and is easily mistaken as gout by even experts. The main difference is that the joints are affected by calcium pyrophosphate crystals as opposed to urate crystals, therefore the treatment options are different too.  

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Causes of Gout

The main cause of gout is the overwhelming presence of uric acid. A lot of factors and conditions can lead to this build-up:

  • Metabolism or blood disorders and dehydration can drive your body to produce access of uric acid
  • A thyroid issue or a kidney problem (included inherited conditions) can prevent your body from removing the extra uric acid
  • Sometimes, a person’s diet can cause gout due to the consumption of foods with a lot of purines that produce gout.
  • A history of gout in family
  • Certain medications like cyclosporine and diuretics
  • Conditions like kidney diseases, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, thyroid, and diabetes can also cause gout

The Common Symptoms of Gout

Gout symptoms are very easily recognized and mostly appear out of the blue, usually at night. Look out for these symptoms.

  • Severe pain in the joints, usually in the big toe. But there could also be a pain in any other joints including ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. The pain lasts a while and is most severe in the first few hours.
  • There will also be discomfort even after the pain subsides. This discomfort focused mainly around the joints may last a few weeks.
  • A lot of inflammation and redness of the joints. Joints may also feel warm and tender.
  • As gout progresses, it may become harder to move the joints like before.
  • The affected foot may feel like it’s on fire.

It’s important to note though, that sometimes between gout attacks you may not have any symptoms at all. But that does not mean the danger is averted, the gout attacks will probably return if there’s no treatment.

Managing A Gout Attack

There are quite a few ways to handle a gout attack when it occurs. While none of these tips will permanently treat the condition, they will help to manage the symptoms including the intense pain.

  • Avoid everything sweet, especially sugary drinks
  • Completely avoid alcohol
  • Keep the affected foot/feet elevated
  • Use ice on the inflamed joints
  • Try to not put any stress on the affected joints  

Treatment Options for People with Gout

Gout needs to be treated properly, otherwise, it can develop into arthritis, leaving your joint permanently swollen, painful and damaged. The treatment plan usually takes into account the stage of gout.
The doctor may prescribe medication to treat the inflammation and relieve pain, or they might try to bring the uric acid levels down through medication to prevent gout attacks in the future.
Moreover, the treatment plan may also include lifestyle changes to prevent gout attacks and also to manage symptoms better.

Can Gout Be Prevented?

Gout is a condition that can be prevented easily with some intense lifestyle and diet changes. They don’t guarantee the complete absence of gout attacks but can help to lower the frequency and relieve symptoms.

  • Avoid being dehydrated by keeping your water intake high.
  • Stay healthy and maintain optimal levels of uric acid by exercising regularly.
  • Cut down on alcohol
  • Avoid red meat, shellfish, gravy, fruit sugar
  • Limit protein from animals  

Common FAQs Related to Gout Attack

Who’s Usually Affected by Gout? Am I More Likely to Develop It?

Generally, gout can occur in anyone. However, some people may be more at risk. For instance, women after menopause, obese individuals, those with diabetes or congestive heart failure, or those with a family history of gout. People with kidney diseases and hypertension are also considered at risk.  
You may be at risk if you have any of the above conditions or if you have a lifestyle that promotes high levels of uric acid.

Do Gout Attack Happen Frequently?

For some people diagnosed with gout, they may have attacks very frequently. Others may have years between each episode. Generally, gout attacks become more frequent when left untreated. Moreover, they can happen in the same joint or different ones at different points in time.

How Can I Be Sure I Have Gout?

You can’t be sure without consulting a doctor. The doctor will hear out your symptoms, may conduct a physical examination, do some blood work, imaging tests, and other procedures before confirming the diagnosis

What Happens If I Leave Gout Untreated?

Gout should be treated if one hopes to avoid permanent joint damage. People with gout can also develop other serious conditions like heart disease, kidney stones, and so on.

How Can Online Doctors at TelMDCare Help You with Gout Attacks?

Gouts attacks are not only painful and inconvenient, but they can also cause lasting damage. Our experienced acute care physicians can help you with an online appointment at a reasonable rate of only $39. They can assess your symptoms and devise a treatment plan accordingly.
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