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Gout – Not just a Kings affliction any more

If you look up images of Gout on Google (don’t), you will thank me for not posting one here.  Trust me it is bad enough suffering through the pain of without seeing pictures of how bad it can get.

Definition

Gout is a form of arthritis that effects the joints.  It is caused by a build up of uric acid which crystallizes and collects in the joints.  The crystals have sharp pointed ends like crystals tend to do and can cause swelling, severe pain and redness in the joints.

Attacks

An attack of Gout can come with out warning, usually over night.  Any joint in the body can be affected but usually attacks begin in the big toes, feet and ankles.  A bad attack can cripple you for as much as a week.  If treated with ani-inflammatory meds, pain and duration can be reduced.

When I say cripple, I mean cripple.  You won’t want to have the bed sheets even touch the painful area.

Who gets Gout?

In by-gone days it was thought that Gout was a rich man’s problem.  Not so much today.  The body can retain uric acid for many reasons.  A diet high in Uric acid such as wine and red meat can contribute but isn’t the only way to get Gout.  Men tend to be affected more than women and anyone over 40 is much more likely to get Gout than a younger person.

If your blood work shows an elevated uric acid level of 6.0mg/dL or more you are at risk of an attack.

Medications

The good news is that changes in diet, exercise and alcohol consumption can help.  Also, your doctor might prescribe medications such as colchicine or allopurinol which are very useful in the treatment.

Conclusions and Recommendations

If you start to suffer “with the Gout”, go to your Urologist as soon as you can get an appointment.  Get a physical and blood work.  If you have Gout it is likely you have other problems.  My gallbladder that was full of stones and was removed that week.  I still take a daily 300 mg tablet of allopurinol and haven’t had a severe attack since.

If none of that works,  what the hell, cut back on rich foods and alcohol and start an exercise program – jughandle