Gout is a disease of the joints that is characterized by deposits of uric acid in the joints that commonly occurs among obese people. Uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints causing joint inflammation. Chronic gout can lead to hard lumps of uric acid in the joints, decreased kidney functions, kidney stones, and sometimes kidney failure. Gout can attack the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows but most often attacks the small joint at the base of the big toe.

Symptoms of Gout:

  • Discoloration
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness of the skin
  • Warmth

Prevention of acute gout involves maintaining adequate fluid intake, weight reduction, dietary changes, reduction in alcohol consumption, and medications to reduce hyperuricemia. Dietary changes also reduce the occurrences of gout by avoiding foods high in purine such as shellfish, liver, and other organ meats. Weight reduction can be helpful in lowering the risk of recurrent attacks of gout. This is best accomplished by reducing dietary fat and calorie intake, combined with a regular aerobic exercise program. Medication treatments for gout include pain relievers ( Tylenol), anti-inflammatory medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASAIDS) such as Indocin and Naprosyn, and finally drugs that lower uric acid levels such as Benemid, Anturane, and Zyloprim.

Medical Risks:

  • Decreased kidney functions
  • Kidney failure
  • Kidney stones
  • Limited joint functioning