Gout is a condition caused by an increased level of uric acid in blood, which causes the deposit of needle-shaped crystals in the spaces surrounding joints in the body.
Acute gouty arthritis (just one of the many forms of acute arthritis) is a serious disorder and is one of a hundred types of rheumatic diseases.
This disease is a painful condition that is recognizable by swelling and intense pain in the joint. An attack mostly affects the big toe joint, however it can affect other joints also.
It will usually affect one joint at a time but in advanced cases it affects more than one joint, and can affect several joints simultaneously. Joints usually affected can be feet, knees, fingers, wrists, elbows and ankles
The pain mostly affects men of over 40 years age and rarely affects women and children. Overweight people are more likely to get gout.
During an attack the affected joint becomes red, swollen, tender and incredibly painful. The joint becomes stiff and unusable, severely disrupting the normal life of the affected person.
Usually the symptoms and pain associated with an attack subside after a period of days and if proper medication or other treatment is undertaken the relief from pain can be achieved in a short time.
The arthritis condition caused by gout develops in four different stages.
The first stage is asymptomatic hyperuricemia, and this can be considered as the starting phase of this condition. During this stage no external symptoms can be seen, but you will find a high level of uric acid in blood.
This is the stage where the level of such acid in the blood has not reached the saturation levels, hence there is no formation of crystals. Usually this stage goes undetected till it reaches the acute stage..
During the stage of acute gouty arthritis, the uric acid level is very high and, because of this, crystals are formed. Once formed they get deposited in the spaces around the joints of the body. The body then reacts to these crystals as if they were a foreign body, flooding the area with inflammatory cells.
In this stage you may get frequent attacks, and discomfort and pain affect the sufferer immensely. The pain can start to move around, affecting different joints.
During this stage it is a must to go for medication or other types of alternative, herbal or natural treatment to bring down the uric acid levels in the blood. Also it is important to seek immediate relief from pain and suffering due to an attack.
The next stage in the progress of acute gouty arthritis is the intercritical stage when the attacks have subsided due to medications and other natural means. However if the uric acid levels remain high then even though there are no symptoms, there is likely to be further attacks later on.
The ultimate stage in the progress of gouty arthritis is chronic gout. It is usually caused when there is not enough time between attacks for healing to take place.
During this stage the disorder becomes a serious health hazard as permanent damage can be caused to the body by way of joint damage, formation of kidney stones, and potential kidney dysfunction.
Hence when you are diagnosed with having this condition or one of its forms you must seek immediate medical advice or use alternative remedies to bring down the level of uric acid in your blood.
By doing this you can save yourself from the pain and suffering caused by frequent or chronic attacks.