What is Gout?
I see a lot of Gout. In fact, I love treating people with Gout!
Many people can be debilitated by gout if it is not treated correctly.
Many people ask me ‘what is gout?’ as it is condition which is difficult to explain.
Gout is a condition where the body produces an immune response to an excess of a chemical called Uric Acid which accumulates in the body in some people.
Gout is what we call a ‘crystal arthritis’.
When in excess in the body, this chemical Uric Acid forms tiny crystals. Not the big ones seen in the petrie dishes in our high school science labs, and not the ones that some people place their faith in or have as beads on jewellery, but tiny little ones that can only be seen with the microscope...
These tiny crystals irritate the body’s immune system very strongly, producing a strong localised immune response which causes the fluid to build up rapidly in the joints.
Gout can cause a strong immune arthritis with a single red hot and swollen joint, or it can affect many joints at the same time.
It often affects joints that are impacted by trauma, or are weight bearing joints.
Gout can also cause a lot of these uric acid crystals to accumulate together in tendons, joints and burst out under and through the skin. These are called ‘tophi’. They are very difficult to treat.
Gout usually causes intermittent episodes of painful and swollen joints, but in some people it can cause a long term chronic arthritis which can look very similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis.
If you think you have gout, and are getting a lot of episodes of swelling of your joints, a Rheumatologist can help diagnose you and get your treatment just right for you.