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Gout arthritis or more commonly called gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in joints. It is caused by deposits of needle-like crystals of uric acid and is a complex disorder. Luckily this disorder is treatable and there are ways of keeping it from recurring.
The cause of gout is an accumulation of urate crystals that results in inflammation of the joint. Uric acid is a waste product of the body formed from the breakdown of purines which would normally be flushed out by the kidneys through urine. But sometimes when the body either produces too much or excretes too little of this acid, uric acid can build up forming sharp, needle-like crystals (urate) in a joint or surrounding tissue that causes pain, inflammation, and swelling. These crystal deposits can also cause another condition known as false gout (pseudogout). But pseudogout crystals are made of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate rather than of uric acid. Although pseudogout can affect the big toe, it’s more likely to attack large joints such as the knees, wrists and ankles.
There is no exact and sure way of preventing gout. If you already have gout, the doctor may prescribe certain drugs to reduce the risk or lessen the severity of future attacks. Some of these drugs include allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim) and probenecid. When taken daily, these drugs can slow the rate at which uric acid is produced and speed its elimination in the body. Generally, the long-term key to preventing gouty arthritis is keeping uric acid levels within a normal range.
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