What is Gouty Arthritis

The general term “arthritis” can mean any number of things. Literally, the word translates to “inflammation of the joints.” But the true definition of arthritis covers over one hundred different painful rheumatic diseases, each one varying in pain location and severity and lifestyle affectation.

What is Gouty Arthritis?

Gout arthritis is one of the types of joint inflammation included under the giant umbrella of arthritis, and it is not very well known. One of the first things people ask when they first hear about the disease is, “What is gouty arthritis?” Gout is one of the most interesting and unique forms of arthritis, as it is caused by slender, sharp crystals of uric acid being deposited into the affected joints. However, gouty arthritis is also one of the most painful forms of arthritis known to man.
Most commonly found in elderly men and women and rare in children and young adults, gouty usually affects the big toes, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, feet, and elbows. Gouty arthritis can be a terrifying disease, because the pain it causes increases and continues to consume more and more of your daily life as it progresses.

How Does Gouty Arthritis Progress?

The progression of this form of arthritis is separated into four general stages. In the first stage, called asymptomatic hyperuricemia, patients with the disease will not experience any joint pain, but their raised levels of blood uric acid is the first hint that something is amiss. During the second stage, or acute gout arthritis, sufferers will begin feeling mid to severe levels of pain as a result of hyperuricemia, which has deposited uric acid crystals in joint spaces. The third stage of gouty arthritis, known as an interval or an intercritical, is the way to reference the periods of time in between dreadful gout attacks, when the patient feels relief and does not experience any painful symptoms. Finally, the fourth stage of gouty arthritis is known as chronic tophaceous gout. This final stage is extremely dangerous and patients who reach it have permanent joint damage, experience high levels of pain regularly, and often have severe trouble simply making it through their day. If sufferers receive proper treatment in the early stages of gouty arthritis, it is unlikely that they will ever reach the fourth stage.

Signs and Symptom of Gout Arthritis

Once you have learned the answer to the question, “What is gouty arthritis?”, it is not unusual that you will want to know the signs of this disease in order to catch it in its early stages if you ever contract it. The first sign of gouty arthritis is painful, inflamed joints in the big toe. Over 75% of those suffering from gouty experience the majority of their pain in the big toe. A toe experiencing a gouty arthritis attack will probably be shiny red, swollen, warm, and extremely painful. Also, if you are currently suffering from hypertension, obesity, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes, you should get checked for gouty, because the disease is often linked to those listed above.
Gouty arthritis is a frightening disease, so it’s important to be aware of it. However, if it is discovered and treated early on, there is no reason that those suffering from gouty arthritis cannot live out a full, healthy life.

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