Gout is a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid that form tiny crystals, known as tufa, in and around joints.
If these stones make their way into the joints, they can lead to inflammation that causes irritation, swelling and severe pain.
Symptoms that people should watch out for include sudden severe pain in one joint, usually with the big toe, but it can be in other joints in the feet, ankles, hands, wrists, elbows or knees.
While gout itself isn't fatal, it can lead to life-changing complications if left untreated.
There are lifestyle changes that can prevent gout, including:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Exercise regularly.
- Stop smoking.
- Consult your GP about vitamin C supplements.
- The main goal of treatment is to calm the symptoms of acute attacks.
- Recurrent seizures can be prevented by several drugs that are used to lower serum uric acid levels.
- Using ice packs for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day also relieves pain.
- Lowering uric acid levels can cure the disease, and treating comorbidities is also important.