Gout is one of the most worst forms of arthritis. Gouty arthritis can inflict acute pain in any individual who suffers from it. Caused by excess accumulation of uric acid in the body, gouty arthritis results in severe pain in the joints, knees, ankles, heels, wrists and fingers. The build up of uric acid in the body leads to 1. sharp uric acid deposits or crystal formation in the joints, starting from the big toe; 2. lumps of uric acid under the skin; 3. stone and uric acid crystal formation in the kidney.
That big red toe: Gout attacks start from the big toe. A person can be suddenly hit by a sharp, killing pain in the toe. The toe may turn sore, red and swollen causing heat and stiffness. From toe, gout moves on to the joints and other parts of the body like insteps, ankles, heels, fingers, wrists, elbows and knees.
Uric acid deposits: Frequent attacks of gout can result in large uric acid deposits called ‘tophi’ under the skin of kidney stones. These uric acid crystals in the body can be very hurtful, causing severe needle-like pain in the joints. This is why gout has to be treated immediately. Especially, it is a must to stop the inflammation or pain that an episode can cause as it can lead to development of tophi.
Allopurinol gout treatment: Allopurinol is one of the most common long term gout treatments available. The drug works by blocking the enzyme xanthine oxidase that produces uric acid in the body. Since allopurinol can sometimes reduce uric acid content in the body, it is vital that you take regular uric acid tests to ensure that you get enough uric acid for digestive and other bodily functions.
Allopurinol therapy hiccups: Before taking allopurinol, you need to understand the pros and cons of taking the drug. Though allopurinol is the most effective drug available, it causes a few hiccups to the patient:
1. Painful gout flare: Allopurinol causes a painful gout flare as soon as you start taking it. You will experience moderate to acute gout pain during the first days of medication. This is normal and will reduce as you keep taking the drug on a regular basis.
2. Minor side effects: Allopurinol does inflict side effects on gout patients. Some of the minor side effects include indigestion, drowsiness, headache, pain, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rashes. You need to consult your doctor if the side effects aggravate and the pain becomes severe.
3. Allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome: The risk of this syndrome increases with age. But normally it affects only 1 in 1000 patients. You need to immediately stop the medication and consult your doctor if you have any of these serious side effects that are symptoms of allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome: blood in stools, aching muscles, blood in urine, shortness of breath, irritation in eyes, wheezing, frequent chills, hives, fever, loose fingernails, swollen glands, sore lips, rashes, red pinpoint skin spots, yellow skin, skin redness, tenderness or peeling and numb hands or feet.
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