Friday, December 11, 2015

Gouty arthritis

What is gouty arthritis?

Gouty arthritis or gout is a severe form of arthritis, characterized by development of stiffness and sudden pain in the big toe. The disease is said to affect more men than women.

What causes gouty arthritis?

The major cause of gouty arthritis is the accumulation of urate crystal in the joints that causes pin prick – like pain in the affected area. Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood cause urate crystals to get accumulated in the joints.

How does gouty arthritis spread?

Gouty arthritis is not a contagious disease and therefore does not spread from one person to another.

What are the symptoms of gouty arthritis?

Signs and symptoms of gouty arthritis almost begin suddenly and usually during the night. The following are the symptoms experienced:
  • Severe pain in the joints
  • Feeling of discomfort that continues for long
  • Inflammation accompanied by redness in the affected area
  • As the disease progresses, the joint mobility gets restricted

What are the stages of gouty arthritis?

Gouty arthritis is divided into 4 different stages:
Stage 1- Asymptomatic hyperurecemia: In this stage, the uric acid levels rise, but there are no accompanying signs and symptoms.
Stage 2- Acute gout attack: This stage is marked by the accumulation of urate crystal in the joints, which eventually become a great cause of pain and discomfort. The symptoms develop almost suddenly and is pretty intense.
Stage 3 – Intercritical gout: This is the stage, when the patient is usually symptom free and the joints appear to function pretty well. However, the urate crystals continue to deposit in the joints until its level are reduced to below 6mg / dL.
Stage 4 – Chronic tophaceous gout: This is the last and final stage of gout, wherein the cartilage undergoes permanent damage.

What is the treatment of gouty arthritis?

Gouty arthritis can be more or less treated with medications, which are given to bring down the uric acid levels and for lessening the severity of the symptoms. The various medications that are prescribed include NSAIDs, corticosteroids and colchine.

How can gouty arthritis be prevented?

If we follow some of the below mentioned dietary recommendations, it can help prevent future gout attacks:
  • It is essential to drink plenty of water and to restrict the intake of sweetened beverages.
  • Avoiding alcohol is extremely necessary.                      
  • Dairy products that are low in fat will help in getting your daily allowance of proteins.
  • Intake of meat, poultry and fish should be limited to amounts that can be well tolerated.
  • Maintaining an ideal body weight is necessary to prevent rise in uric acid levels. However, fasting to achieve fast weight loss may cause a sudden rise in the uric acid levels. Therefore, eating the right food in the right amounts is required to achieve a desirable body weight.

Diet and lifestyle changes in gouty arthritis?

Individuals suffering from gouty arthritis need to change their dietary habits and make necessary changes in the lifestyle factors. Exercising regularly will help keep the joints mobile and in a functional state. Foods with high amounts of purines such as meat, seafoods and organ meats should be avoided. Drinking plenty of fluids is a must and at the same time limiting the intake of alcohol is advisable.

What is Ayurvedic treatment of gouty arthritis?

Ayurvedic preparations which are helpful in treatment of gouty arthritis include garlic, shallaki, guduchi and guggul.

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