Gout is a type of arthritis that results from the deposition of uric acid crystals in joints, which causes pain, swelling, and inflammation. It is a medical condition that affects the joints, most commonly in the big toe, but can also affect other joints such as the ankle, knee, wrist, and elbow.
Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream, which can occur due to a variety of factors such as genetics, diet, obesity, certain medications, and medical conditions such as kidney disease.
Some examples of risk factors for gout include:
- Age: Gout is more common in older adults
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop gout than women
- Family history: If a close relative has gout, the risk of developing it is higher
- Diet: Consuming foods high in purines, such as organ meats, seafood, and alcohol, can increase uric acid levels and increase the risk of gout
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing gout
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure can increase the risk of gout
Treatment for gout typically involves medications to manage pain and inflammation, as well as lifestyle modifications such as changes to diet and exercise habits. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the uric acid crystals or damaged joint tissue.