Any form of ailment can render us incapacitated for some time. However, it poses a problem when the condition is a chronic and painful. One such condition that has been increasingly affecting Americans is gout. A gout is a complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone irrespective of their age. Since it is a form of arthritis, needless to say, it primarily affects the joints. Gout is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of swelling, pain, tenderness, in the joint, and it usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe.
Gout, like every other form of arthritis, affects the individual’s mobility and causes excruciating pain whenever a gout attack begins, and this happens suddenly. Even after the pain subsides, the discomfort lingers.
Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, and this is what triggers inflammation and pain. However, there are other factors that make an individual more vulnerable to gout, and they are as follows.
In a majority of cases, our genes are the ones that give an impetus to ailments. If you have a family history of gout, there are high chances that you too will develop this painful condition.
- Age and gender
Men produce more uric acid than women, and as mentioned earlier, deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint is the leading cause of gout. This implies that men are more prone to suffer from gout as compared to women. However, women’s uric acid levels increase after they reach menopause, which puts them at equal risk of developing gout.
- Joint injury
Joint injury is another prominent cause of gout. Injured joints are more susceptible to collection of uric acid and can trigger a gout attack that can last for weeks.
Medications are meant to cure ailments, but they can have a drastic impact on one’s health. Certain medications contain a high level of uric acid and consuming them for a longer period can increase the level of uric acid in the body, which eventually causes gout. Moreover, certain diuretics and drugs that contain salicylate can trigger a gout attack which might last for a long time.
- Surgery or recent trauma
The individual becomes vulnerable to gout if they have recently undergone a surgery or were subject to some physical trauma. Even a small trauma to the foot can give rise to inflammation, which will in no time precipitate a gout attack in the particular joint.
- Other health conditions
Other health conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney problems that lead to an increase in the levels of uric acid in the body, diabetes, and hypothyroidism can cause gout.