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Gout is an arthritic condition that happens when uric acid crystals reside in the joints. It is also known as crystal-induced arthritis. Most often, the large joint of your big toe is affected by gout but it also affects other joints like ankle, knees, foot, hands, wrist and elbows. Rarely, it affects the spine, shoulders or the hips. Although it can affect almost every joint of your body, it does not spread from one joint to another.

The real cause of gout is really unknown but it may be caused by genetic defect, environmental factors like obesity or alcohol abuse, illness of the blood cells, water pills or kidney disease. There are factors that can trigger gout. Such factors are drinking too much alcohol, surgery, wrong diet, chemotherapy and joint injury.

Symptoms of gout depend on its stage. There are four stages of gout—asymptomatic, acute, intercritical and chronic.

The asymptomatic stage, as it name implies, occur without symptoms. Uric levels rise in the blood.

As for the acute stage, the symptoms typically last 5 up to 10 days. The symptoms include sudden pain on the joint, joints feel hot, look bruised and tender and swelling on the affected area.

The intercritical stage has symptom-free intervals in between episodes. Most patients who suffer from gout experience a second attack from six months to twenty four months. On the other hand, others experience symptom-free episodes from five to ten years.

Finally, the patient who experiences the chronic stage experience persistent pans on the joints. Stiffness on the joint, white pus released on the skin that develops over the deposits and movement of the joint that is affected is just limited.

Since the early stage of gout is asymptomatic, it is best to have your uric acid level tested through blood tests. As for chronic gout, you may have your affected area undergo x-ray.

As of the moment, there is no treatment for gout that is proven and tested to be effective but if you have a proper food intake, live a healthy life and have proper medications, symptoms for gout can be treated or relieved and eventually, coming episodes will be eliminated.

To minimize the risk factors, you must avoid diet rich in purine, avoid too much alcohol consumption and exercise regularly with the supervision of the experts. It is best to have a healthy living for you to avoid gout.

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