is said to be one of the most painful forms of arthritis. Gout occurs when uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints, causing pain, swelling and inflammation. During a gout flare, even a gentle touch of the skin above the affected joint can be agonizing, and walking on a toe or ankle stricken by gout can be unbearable.
TRANSCENDING THE JOINTS
Gout results from hyperuricemia, the buildup of uric acid (urate) in the blood, although not everyone with hyperuricemia experiences gout. Uric acid forms when your body metabolizes substances called purines, found in a variety of foods. In healthy adults, the kidneys filter uric acid and excrete it in urine; however, if your body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys cannot filter it adequately, it may solidify and form sharp crystals that accumulate in the joints and other tissues. The result is the hallmark pain, swelling, and inflammation of gout. Early on, gout is episodic, with flares lasting days to weeks. Gout typically affects the big toe first, but it also may develop in the ankles, knees, fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and spine. If uric acid levels remain high, large, visible uric acid deposits (tophi) may form. “The arthritis from gout is probably one of the most painful arthritic conditions that we see. Says Linda Mileti, MD, with Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Rheumatologic and Immunologic Disease, “Gout flares are horribly painful. When patients experience one for the first time, they often think they’ve broken a bone.” Mounting evidence suggests
If your big toe hurts like hell, it could be a sign your heart is in bad shape