Gout is a particularly painful type of arthritis that affects the joints.
- Gout develops when there is an excess of purine in the blood. Purine is food-borne and exists in alcohol, some seafood, and some meats, including bacon and organ meats.
- Avoiding high-purine foods can reduce the likelihood of developing Gout.
- Symptoms of Gout include severe pain, redness, and swelling in joints, often the big toe. Build-up of uric acid in the blood causes sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and pain of the joints. Attacks can come suddenly, often at night. During an acute attack, anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve pain and shorten the length of the attack. Patients with chronic gout can use behavioral modification such as diet, exercise, and decreased intake of alcohol to help minimize the frequency of attacks.
- Left untreated, Gout can also lead to kidney stones. Patients with chronic gout are often put on medications such as colchicine.