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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Gout

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Name: Gouty arthritis; Piyo (Tag.)

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the joints caused by elevated uric acid levels and accumulation of uric acid crystals.

Uric acid is formed as a result when the body breaks down compounds called purines. Purines are substances both naturally found in the body's cells and in almost all foods. Some foods have higher purine concentration than others like liver, kidney, mussels, sardines, yeast, peas and beer.

Uric acid level increases if your body produces too much uric acid or if there are conditions wherein the body does not remove enough of it such as having kidney problems. The kidneys are responsible for eliminating uric acid. Excessive uric acid produces uric acid crystals (monosodium urate crystals) which accumulate in the tendons, joints, kidneys and other parts of the body. These uric acid crystal deposits cause gout.

Symptoms
  • Intense joint pain
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Itching and discomfort in the affected area
Risk Factors
  • Purine-rich diet
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Diuretic medications
  • Kidney problems
  • Tumor lysis syndrome
  • Immune-suppressing drugs
  • Genetic
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Drug Therapy for Acute Gout Attack:
  • Colchicine is plant-based pain reliever effective against pain and swelling of gout attacks.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen are frequently used for pain.
  • Corticosteroids can be taken orally or injected into the inflamed joint for pain relief.
Drug Therapy to Lower Uric Acid Levels:
  • Allopurinol decreases production of uric acid in the body. Side Effects: stomach pain, headache, diarrhea and rash.
  • Probenecid helps the kidneys eliminate excess uric acid through urine.
  • Febuxostat is the drug of choice for a person who develops side effects or allergic reaction to allopurinol or has kidney problems. This drug also reduces production of uric acid in the body and can be very reliable in controlling uric acid level in the blood.
Treatment and Management
  • Control your body weight and exercise regularly.
  • Limit intake of food high in purine like red meat, organ meats (e.g. kidneys, liver) and seafood.
  • Monitor intake of alcoholic and sugary beverages.
  • Vitamin C supplements help lower uric acid levels.
  • Increase your fluid intake.
  • Avoid too much alcohol.
  • Inform your doctor about the medicines you take. Some medicines raise the uric acid level.
Home Remedies
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