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The most common symptom of gout is a sudden joint pain attack. The problem is these attacks can occur without warning. They may be triggered by an:
- consumption of large quantities of alcohol or
- consumption of large quantities food rich in purines,
- emotional stress,
The pain usually isn’t located in one joint only. Typically, it occurs suddenly and it often happens at night. When you look at the joint that is causing you pain, you should be able to see that it’s becoming inflamed, swells, feels warm, and the skin over the joint appears red or purplish, tight, and shiny.
Other common symptoms
The other symptoms of an attack can include fever, chills, a general sick feeling, and a rapid heartbeat.
The big problem is that, after repeated attacks, especially if left untreated, gout can become severe and chronic and may lead to the destruction of tissue and a joint deformity. That’s why the early diagnosis and immediate treatment could be crucial.
What happens if it is left untreated? The joint motion becomes progressively restricted by the damage caused by deposits of urate crystals in the joints and tendons. Not only that, some hard lumps can be seen on joints as a result of crystals depositing. These deposits are called tophi. They can also be seen kidneys and some other organs, under the skin on the ears, in the tough band extending from the calf muscles to the heel (Achilles tendon), or around the elbows.
Diagnosis of gout
- Joint fluid analyze
The doctor usually withdraws fluid from the affected joint to check for crystals of uric acid in patient’s white blood cells.
- Urine test
The patient may have a urine test to measure the amount of uric acid in his or hers excreting.
- Blood test
The doctor may ask the patient to undergo a blood test to measure the uric acid level in patient’s blood.
These tests may show the joint damage and the presence of tophi.