Gout is known as a pensioner’s disease, but it can appear any time after a person turns forty. It is also said that it is the disease of kings and can make people’s life less pleasant. What is this disease and why does it affect our legs?
Why a disease of kings?
Gout does not only affect pensioners. As we mentioned above, people in their forties can get it. All the signs indicate that the main cause is insufficient movement and excess consumption of fatty meat and alcohol. This combination, together with being overweight and increasing age, causes gout. The illness also affects men much more frequently than women. But why is it called the disease of kings? These circumstances once corresponded to the lives of kings and aristocrats.
But even if you have a healthy lifestyle, you cannot be sure that you will never suffer from gout. It can also be hereditary.
The first symptoms you do not pay much attention
Your big toe suddenly becomes swollen and red. The swelling on your leg is also accompanied by an unpleasant pain when you touch it. You think about who might have stood on your foot, but you certainly do not go immediately to a doctor with a “stubbed” toe, especially if the swelling and pain are likely to disappear after a couple of days. Tight and shiny skin should be a clear indication for you. However, plenty of people miss this.
The same problems repeat in a couple of weeks. Perhaps this time you do not pay that much attention. If these problems begin to appear regularly and also at regular intervals, you can be reasonably certain that you are suffering from gout.
What is happening in your body?
Briefly, gout is a disease which consists of uric acid collecting in your body and the body being unable to get rid of it. In normal circumstances, uric acid is excreted from the body through correct functioning of the enzyme uricase, which partially breaks it down. If production of this enzyme is interfered with in any manner, the breakdown and subsequent excretion of all uric acid from the body does not occur.
Uric acid then crystallises in the body and creates small, sharp crystals which lodge in parts of the body where less blood flow occurs. It especially affects joints, which is why the toes and fingers become swollen or in other cases also the wrists and ankles. The body responds by producing white blood cells for the affected area, which creates inflammation and swelling in the place of the pain.
If you have gout but do not deal with it in any way, you may eventually experience its chronic form. This consists of uric acid deposits forming in the joint cartilage and producing a general degeneration of the joint.
How gout is treated
As soon as a doctor diagnoses you with gout, he or she will probably prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug. This, however, is not the end. Medicines can only alleviate the symptoms. You will especially need to change your lifestyle. You will need to change your diet and improve how you drink. You should also avoid foods with a high content of purine. This includes smoked meats, liver, alcohol, chocolate, fatty cheeses, seafood, mushrooms and pulses.
Since the pain primarily affects the body where blood flow is limited, such as in the big toes, wearing Foot Alignment Socks can at least partially prevent the deposit of uric acid crystals in foot joints by stretching the toes and increasing blood flow. In this case, it is not so much an aid for treatment as a preventative measure. You should also engage in regular movement and other healthy lifestyle attributes.