Gout is a condition that results from an overload of uric acid in the body. It is characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis. This overload of uric acid leads to the formation of tiny crystals of urate that are deposited in tissues of the body, especially the joints. When it involves the metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe (50% of cases), gout is known as podagra.
Acute gout attacks are characterized by a rapid onset of pain in the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration, and marked tenderness. In rare instances, an attack can last for weeks.
The relationship between hyperuricemia and gout is not clear. Many patients with hyperuricemia do not develop gout. This condition is known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia. What’s more, some patients with repeated gout attacks have normal or low blood uric acid levels. In fact, the blood level of uric acid often lowers during an acute attack of gout.
Hyperuricemia can occur for a number of reasons. The most common are: renal underexcretion of uric acid, diet, and genetic predisposition.
The proper diet can help decrease uric acid levels. Since purine chemicals in the organism are converted into uric acid, purine-rich foods should be avoided. Patients are supposed to reduce intake of meat and seafood, as well as alcohol and fructose. Dairy food, coffee and increased levels of vitamin C consumption seems to reduce the risk of gout.
Gout treatment includes three aspects: relieving of pain, pacifying the inflammatory processes, and lowering uric acid levels. In order to manage pain, common pain relievers, such as paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used. Options for acute treatment include (NSAIDs), colchicine, and corticosteroids (to decrease joint inflammation). In order to correct hyperuricemia, allopurinol, febuxostat, and probenecid are recommended.
QUESTIONS (Choose TRUE or FALSE)
1. Gout is characterized by acute or chronic inflammation of a joint.
2. The big toe is the part of the body that is the most commonly affected by gout.
3. It is beyond any doubt that the elevated level of uric acid in the organism is the main cause of gout.
4. Purine-rich diet helps correct hyperuricemia.
5. Milk products seem to reduce the risk of gout.
• gout [gaʊt] – dna
• overload [ˈoʊvərloʊd] – przeciążenie, przeładowanie
• recurrent [rɪˈkɜrənt] – powtarzający się
• arthritis [ɑrˈθraɪtɪs] – artretyzm, zapalanie stawów
• urate [ˈyʊəreɪt] – moczan
• to deposit [tə dɪˈpɒzɪt] – deponować, osadzać, odkładać
• metatarsal-phalangeal joint [mɛtəˈtɑrsəl fəˈlændʒiəl dʒɔɪnt] – staw śródstopno-paliczkowy
• podagra [poʊˈdægrə] – podagra
• dairy [ˈdɛəri] – nabiał
• hyperuricemia [haɪpəryʊərəˈsimiə] – hiperurikemia
• asymptomatic [eɪsɪmptəˈmætɪk] – bezobjawowy
• underexcretion [ˈʌndərɪkˈskriʃən] – niedostateczne wydalanie
Correct answers: true, true, false, false, true