Gout is also called as the podagra if the big toe is involved. This medical condition is usually characterized by attacks of inflammatory arthritis which are acute and recurrent. Inflammatory arthritis is a swollen, tender, hot and a red joint. The most commonly affected part is the metatarsal-phalangeal joint. It lies at the base of big toe. In more than 50 percent of the cases, the big toe is affected. It may also be present as kidney stones, urate nephropathy and tophi. The major cause of it can be the elevated levels of uric acid in blood. These get crystallized and then get deposited in tendons, surrounding tissues and tendons.
The doctor confirms the diagnosis of gout by visualizing the characteristic crystals in joint fluid. The treatment of it is done with steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or colchicine. These help to a great extent in improving the symptoms.
Once the acute attack subsides, the doctor lowers the levels of uric acid. This is done via lifestyle changes. This provides long term prevention for probenecid and allopurinol attacks. The frequency of gout has been increased considerably during the recent decades. More than two percent of the population is affected by it. The risk factors have been increased and this has led to the increase in gout. These risk factors include changes in diet, longer life expectancy and metabolic syndrome.
The historical name for gout is the “rich man’s disease” or the “disease of the kings.”. Gout can be presented in various ways. The most common is the recurrent attach of inflammatory arthritis. Metatarsal-phalangeal is the most commonly affected joint. Other affected joints may include wrists, heels, fingers and knees. This pain usually starts for 2 hours during the night. Thus the condition of gout is very serious and effective care must be taken.