Gout is an extremely painful form of Arthritis, it can affect numerous joints in the body including the wrists, fingers, knees, arms, elbows, hands and ankles. In most cases this condition begins in the joint of the big toe. Gout is not really talked about much, infact most people have never heard of it, however approximately 2 million people deal with this condition every year.
The majority of gout suffers tend to be men in their forties and fifties, it also tends to affect women in this age range.
Gout occurs when the body produces extreme uric acid, this goes on to form uric acid crystals which get trapped in between the joints causing inflammation of the surrounding tissue and excruciating pain for the suffer. The area around the joint swells up and stiffens.
The speed at which gout develops is what differentiates it from other forms of arthritis. It usually develops within twelve to twenty four hours. The gout attack may last for up to ten days, before going away.
Gout attacks occur at the least expected times, and sometimes during sleep. They usually happen between midnight and 2 am in the morning, the attacks also seem to be more frequent in the spring months.
If you suffer a gout attack, you are likely to tolerate more attacks, even years apart because gout tends to be a recurring condition. With each attack the frequency gradually increases.
If you do deal with a gout attack it is recommended that you speak to your doctor straight away. If gout is not treated in the proper manner the affected joints must end up permanently disfigured. Untreated gout can also lead to other conditions such as high blood pressure and kidney problems.
During the onset of gout, medication can be taken as soon as possible. If no medication is administered within the first twelve hours the attack should get out of control and the medication will have little or no effect. Gout sufferers are advised to carry medication with them at all times.