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Complications of Gout

Without treatment Gout Patients Can Develop Complications

Chances are you're reading this article because you've just had an attack of gout and you want to know more about this painful disease. If you're smart, the excruciating, sudden pain you experienced in the middle of the night drove you to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as his office opened for business. It's not wise to ignore the symptoms you've suffered. Without treatment, gout patients can develop complications.

Medication Can Lessen Both The Recurrences The Severity Of Attacks

If you're very lucky, this will be your first and last episode of the intense and agony-causing condition known as gout. Some patients just never have another gout attack. Be that as it may, some people develop a condition known as recurrent gout. Patients with recurrent gout tend to have several attacks of gout a year. Medication can do much to lessen both the number of recurrences and the severity of the attacks.

Gout that is left untreated can go on to become advanced gout which is distinguished by the presence of tophi, pronounced: TOH-fi. Tophi are deposits of hardened uric acid crystals that form nodules under the skin. Tophi aren't often painful, but they can become tender and swollen during active attacks of gout. More often, they're just unattractive, and also unnecessary, since they are preventable with proper medical care. Once you have tophi, it's important to treat them, since besides the fact that they grow and disfigure the body, they can lead to the destruction of bone and cartilage in extreme cases. Medications that reduce levels of uric acid in the blood can make the tophi disappear.

Another common complication of gout is kidney stones. Kidney stones are the result of uric acid crystals collecting inside the kidney, where they can eventually turn into kidney stones. Medications that help lower uric acid blood levels can reduce your chances of contracting painful kidney stones. If you have a tendency toward kidney stones, you should drink a lot of water to increase the chance that you will flush out excess uric acid from your system before it has a chance to make stones.

High uric acid levels in the blood can also predispose you to suffering a heart attack. While doctors aren't really sure why this is so, there is mounting proof of a correlation between high uric acid levels, gout, and heart disease. If you have gout, your doctor might order tests to screen for other risk factors connected to heart disease.