A gout is a form of arthritis that causes severe pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints.
It most commonly affects the big toe but can also affect the knees, ankles, feet, elbows, wrists, and hands.
Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood (known as hyperuricemia) and forms crystals in the joints.
Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, which are found in certain foods.
When these crystals accumulate, they can cause inflammation and pain.
Treatment for gout typically involves lifestyle changes and medication.
If left untreated, gout can lead to joint damage and deformity.
With proper treatment, however, most people with gout can manage their symptoms and live relatively normal lives.
This article will discuss 6 early signs of gout to never ignore.
Although this illness affects more men than women, everyone should be aware of its symptoms.
1. Intense Joint Pain
One of the major early signs of gout to never ignore is intense joint pain, particularly in the big toe.
The pain is often so severe that it can wake a person up at night.
It is often described as a throbbing or burning sensation.
Generally, the pain can also interfere with daily activities and make it difficult to walk or even stand.
2. Swelling and Tenderness
Gout can also cause swelling and tenderness in the affected joints.
The skin around the joint may also appear red and inflamed.
In most cases, the symptoms come on suddenly and can last for days or even weeks.
3. Joint Stiffness
Joint Stiffness is one of the earliest signs of gout.
Even before you experience pain, you may notice that your joints feel unusually stiff, especially in the morning.
The stiffness may improve with movement but typically comes back after resting.
This stiffness is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints, which can damage the surrounding tissue and cause inflammation.
4. Limited Range of Motion
Gout can make it difficult to move the affected joints due to the pain and swelling.
This can lead to a loss of range of motion and make it difficult to perform everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs.
For example, if you have gout in your big toe, you may not be able to move it up and down as much as you could before.
Patients with gout often report feelings of fatigue and exhaustion, even if they have gotten a full night’s sleep.
This fatigue can make it difficult to concentrate and make it hard to get through the day.
The fatigue is caused by the inflammation and pain associated with gout.
When your body is trying to fight off inflammation, it can take a toll on your energy levels.
6. Kidney stones
As you probably know, uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines.
Purines are found in certain foods, such as organ meats, seafood, and alcohol.
If you have gout, your body may not be able to process and excrete uric acid properly.
As a result, uric acid can form crystals in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney stones.
Basically, if you have severe gout, you might develop kidney stones.
Kidney stones can cause severe pain, nausea, and vomiting.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately.
How is gout treated?
Gout is most commonly treated with medication, and there are several different types of drugs that can be effective.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are often the first line of treatment, and they can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
If NSAIDs are not effective, corticosteroids may be used.
These drugs are more powerful than NSAIDs and can provide relief from gout symptoms for a longer period of time.
However, they can also have side effects, so they are usually only used for short-term treatment.
For people with chronic gout, there are several other types of drugs that can be used to manage the condition.
These include xanthine oxidase inhibitors, which prevent the build-up of uric acid in the body, and biologic agents, which target specific proteins involved in inflammation.
With proper treatment, gout can be controlled, and people can experience relief from their symptoms.
When to see a doctor
If you experience any of the symptoms of gout, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Gout can be a painful and debilitating condition, but it is also treatable.
Don’t let gout ruin your life – get the treatment you need to feel better.
More resources: 14 Foods That Reduce Uric Acid Levels In Your Body