When uric acid is deposited in the soft tissues or joints, as needle like crystals, it is called gout. Gout is an extremely painful condition. The uric acid crystals, which are a body waste product, lead to inflammatory arthritis in the joints. The tender areas leave a person in agony because of redness, joint stiffness, swelling, pain and heat.
Many people complain of gout in their big toe, but slowly the other joints and surrounding areas also start to be affected. The patient often complains of discomfort and inflammation in ankles, knees, elbows, heels, insteps, and fingers. The skin around the joints contains tophi or chalky uric acid deposits, and these crystals also start accumulating in the kidneys as kidney stones.
Gout pain can take a person unawares and starts in middle of night. The joints start to ache intensely and the area shows up as inflamed and red. Including the big toe, the patient also complains of swelling in wrists, elbows, fingers, ankles and knees. Sometimes elevated uric acid levels stay in the body, without causing any symptoms. The damage at this time is not grave, though the crystals of uric acid are slowly depositing in the tissues. This is the time to make the efforts and control the uric acid levels in the body.
The urate crystals can deposit and start causing a severe pain and inflammation in the body and this stage is termed as “flare”. The flare up can reduce in about 3-10 days. Gout can get aggravated in cold weather, stressful events and alcohol consumption. The flares may stay dormant in the body for years but if left untreated the symptoms can persist for a long time. The urate crystals keep on depositing in the tissues.
In worse cases the kidneys and the joints get permanently damaged and the person develops huge urate crystals or tophi. The patient can suffer from chronic arthritis at this stage. Timely treatment may save the person from reaching this condition.
Gout has common symptoms with other medical disorders as well so it is important to go to an experienced physician to get the condition diagnosed. The doctors carry out a diagnostic test called the “joint fluid test”. The expert medical specialist extracts the fluid present inside the painful joint and this is tested for urate crystals. The test needs to be performed very carefully as bacterial joint infections have the same symptoms. This test can also help rule out bacterial infection in the joint.
Blood tests also help measure uric acid levels in the blood though many people with high levels of uric acid do not develop gout. On the other hand there are many people who show gout symptoms without high uric acid levels. There is another condition called pseudogout that has conditions similar to gout.
Gout can be treated effectively with conventional allopathic medications or ayurvedic remedies such as Ramdev ayurvedic medication for Gout. This includes medicinal herbal extracts like Divya Peedantak Kwath, Divya yograj guggulu, Divya Giloy Sat, Divya Chandraprabha Vati etc, and these in turn nourish the joints and keep uric acid levels normal.