CATEA.orgassistivetech.netATWiki
Personal tools
Views

Interested in disability history? Check out what happened Today in AT History!

Gout

From ATWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that is most common in men over 40. The condition affects about 3 times as many men as women. "The pain of gout (called attacks or flares) is caused by inflammation when needle-like crystals are deposited in connective tissue and/or in the fluid that cushions a joint (the synovial fluid)."[1] If left untreated, gout can cause disability.


Contents

History

Hippocrates called it “the disease of kings” because of its association with a rich diet. Today we know that diet is only one factor.

The cases of gout have been steadily increasing over the last 30 years. In 2008, about 1.5% of U.K. men were afflicted with gout according to BBC News.[2]


Symptoms

Attacks last around 3 to 10 days and usually begin with sudden, severe pain tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in the large joint of the big toe. Other joints can be affected including the instep, ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. Rarely, the shoulders, hips, or spine is affected. Symptoms worsen over time.[3]

Left untreated, gout can cause uric acid kidney stones, problems with kidney function, and potential nerve damage in affected areas.


Causes

The biggest risk factor for gout is hyperuricemia - high levels of uric acid in the blood. In 2008, a team of scientists surveyed 46,000 men, 755 of whom later developed gout. They found that "The risk of developing the condition was significantly increased with an intake level of five to six servings of sugary soft drink per week."[4] Diet soft drinks were not linked to an increase, although fruit juices were.


External Links


References

  1. What is Gout?. Gout.com. 2007. Accessed on February 1, 2008.
  2. Gout surge blamed on sweet drinks. BBC News. February 1, 2008. Accessed on February 1, 2008.
  3. What is Gout?. Gout.com. 2007. Accessed on February 1, 2008.
  4. Gout surge blamed on sweet drinks. BBC News. February 1, 2008. Accessed on February 1, 2008.