Gouty arthritis refers to a specific kind of degenerative joint disease in which uric acid builds up in certain areas. This involves particle crystallization in certain key joints, which ultimately causes inflammation and pain. Though it is most commonly associated with bones, it can also affect tendons and other tissues that are closely related. Medical specialists indicate that the big toe is most often affected, though all joints can potentially face problems. Uric acid itself has specific properties that irritate tissue and lead to redness and swelling.
There are a number of things that people can do in order to decrease their risk of developing chronic gout. Because excessive uric acid is linked to obesity, losing weight can be an excellent way to deal with the problem. If rheumatoid arthritis is a prominent part of the family history, then people would do well to take up healthy living habits. Men and women who have already had at least one gout attack should talk with their doctors to see what kind of exercise plan they can embark on. Weight should not be lost all at once. Rather, individuals should strive for a slow, gradual process.
Most specialists will diagnosis gouty arthritis by examining joint fluid under a powerful microscope. If crystals are present within the fluid, then the diagnosis can be made. Most patients may also notice that several joints are affected at once. If attacks often occur at night, people should try to stay hydrated as much as possible. By drinking a certain amount of water each day, men and women can keep their tissues in optimal shape. This will help just a bit in avoiding overly long episodes of gout.
Patients may also want to sit down with a team of specialists so that they understand the role of genetics in all types of arthritis. If they have had a family member deal with the disease in the recent past, then they will have some idea of what to expect. Proper nutrition, adequate exercise, and pain medication can all help with the worst of the symptoms.
In the end, men and women should rely on their doctors for a properly devised treatment plan. Once the uric acid reaches certain levels within the body, it will be hard to ignore. Physicians will likely recommend that individuals overhaul their lifestyles so that they can better deal with the condition. If they can work to keep the acid levels as low as possible, they should gain some relief as they continue on through life in the years ahead.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not, nor is it ever intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice or professional recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician(s) or other qualified healthcare provider(s).