Saturday, 28 May 2016

Gout Attack Explained


If not yourself, you likely know someone who has experienced an intensely painful gout attack. The word attack suggests this is no laughing matter. What exactly goes on during a gout attack?

"Gout attacks cause sudden severe joint pain, sometimes with redness, swelling, and tenderness of the joint. Although an attack typically affects a single joint, some people develop a few inflamed joints at the same time. The pain and inflammation are worst within several hours, and generally improve completely over a few days to several weeks, even if untreated. It is not clear how the body "turns off" a gout attack."

The first gout attack you will experience typically follows years of asymptomatic hyperuricemia (high blood uric acid level). Meaning, a gout attack occurs when excess uric acid accumulates in the body and deposits as crystals in and around joints. The big toe is often the first joint affected. But, what exactly triggers a gout attack in this setting is still unknown.

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