What is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis which is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the body (hyperuricemia). The uric acid levels in your blood will be high if your kidneys do not excrete uric acid properly or if your body produces too much uric acid during the process of metabolism.
If the level of uric acid in your blood becomes very high, crystals form in the joints. The crystals cause the joints to become inflamed and painful.
How common is Gout?
1% of all men in England will be affected by gout. It can affect women, but they are three to four times less likely to develop it. Symptoms of gout usually appear in men between the ages of 40 and 60, and between 60 and 80 in women.
What are the symptoms of Gout?
The main symptom of gout is acute joint pain, usually in the joint of the big toe. Other symptoms include inflammation, red and shiny skin over the joint, peeling and itchy skin over the joint, and swelling.
How is Gout treated?
There are two aims of gout treatment. These are relieving the symptoms of a gout attack and preventing future attacks from occurring. Treatment usually includes medication and lifestyle changes.
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