What is Gout?

9 August 2017

Has a joint in your body become extremely painful, swollen and red? Does even the lightest amount of pressure on the joint make you feel nauseous? If even the weight of a blanket or wearing a glove is unbearable, you might be suffering from an attack of gout.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes small crystals to form inside and around your joints because of a build-up of uric acid in the blood. Roughly one in every 40 adults are affected by the condition within the UK. The most common groups affected by the condition are men over 30 years of age and women who have gone through menopause.

Although it might be a shock to you that you're suffering from arthritis, gout is actually one of only a few types of arthritis where long-term damage to your joints can be evaded with a good treatment plan. Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis but it's certainly not the worst.

How Can I Tell if I Have Gout?

Although gout usually affects the big toe, it can also affect your hands, wrists, elbows, and other places on your body. When you suffer from a gout attack, the joint will begin to ache and swell. The affected area will feel hot and tender to the touch, and its skin will usually turn red and shiny, with peeling a fairly common symptom too.

An attack of gout tends to last from three to ten days, after which the joint should return to normal and your pain should stop. These attacks usually reoccur within a year, which can make your daily life stressful and difficult to deal with. Although rare, if you suffer from lots of attacks, this can lead to more permanent, damaging arthritis in the affected joint.

Why Do I Have Gout?

If your kidneys aren't filtering enough uric acid out of your blood, this can cause sharp crystals to form in and around the joint. A build-up of these crystals leads to the joint becoming red, swollen and painful.

You're more likely to get gout if you have:

  • Excess weight
  • High stress levels
  • Suffered from an illness
  • Injured or bruised your joint
  • High levels of fat or cholesterol in your blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • An immediate relative with gout
  • Kidney problems

Treatment Options

If you're currently suffering from a gout attack, treatment should include anti-inflammatory medication and good, old-fashioned rest. Try to avoid damaging the affected joint by resting and raising it whenever possible. Using ice packs can also work wonders in reducing the pain and uncomfortable heat you feel as a result of the injury, while a wrist support can reduce inflammation.

In the long term, if you suffer from gout often, some lifestyle changes can help you prevent the condition from returning. This includes losing weight (sensibly), cutting down on alcohol, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. If left untreated, gout can lead to issues further down the line, including:

  • Kidney stones
  • Joint damage
  • Psychological and emotional effects

Gout at Wrist Supports

Here at Wrist Supports, we've selected a range of wrist braces that have been designed to help rest your joint and keep it safe from further damage during an attack of gout. As damaging the area can affect your road to recovery, supports can help keep your wrist or hand away from harm. Ice pack wraps like the Donjoy Dura Soft Universal Ice Pack Wrap are particularly useful to reduce swelling and lower your temperature in the area. Click on the button below to view our full range of wrist supports for gout!


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