Gouty Arthritis

Written by James Lyons
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Gouty arthritis, otherwise known as "the Gout," affects over one million people in the United States. Gouty arthritis occurs when the body becomes unable to rid itself of excess uric acid. These uric acid crystals then settle in different areas of the body, especially in or near the joints. Symptoms of gouty arthritis most commonly occur in the feet but can occur in the wrists, elbows and spine.

Who is susceptible to Gouty arthritis? Gout primarily occurs in men between the ages of 40 and 60. In fact, 95 percent of the people afflicted with gout are men. The small percentage of women who fall prey to gouty arthritis almost always notice symptoms after menopause. In addition, nearly 70 percent of those people living with gout acquired the disorder because of another disease or excessive drug use.

What to Look for with Gouty Arthritis

Gouty arthritis can be incredibly painful if it isn't addressed. If left unattended, joint deformation can occur. The big toe joint is the most commonly affected joint associated with gouty arthritis. If you experience swelling or discomfort in either of your big toe joints, immediately consult a physician and have it checked out.

In addition, if you experience tightness in your joints, limited movement, and/or sharp pain when moving a joint, have it looked at by a doctor. If your big toe joint swells, have a look at the skin. If the skin is tight, shiny, red, and hot, definitely have it looked at. Those are classic symptoms of gout. You might also experience chills, lethargy, and fever.

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