Gout is a variant form of arthritis caused by the uncontrolled levels of uric acid leading to the deposition of urate crystals in joints. Many people who have experienced a gout attack once may not have to suffer an attack again. However, some people may develop a condition that is called chronic gout that is characterized by constant attacks that happen frequently. It may lead to many other problems if left untreated.
How Does Gout Affect Your Daily Activities?
It is normally during the night hours that gout attacks occur. It can wake you up from sleep at night. Furthermore, consistent pain will stop you from going back to sleep. The lack of sleep due to gout attacks at night can cause issues including:
- Increased stress
- Mood swings
What Are The Complications Caused By Gout?
Gout may lead to many complicated conditions including:
Tophi are urate crystals that form under the skin of people with chronic gout or tophaceous gout. Tophi usually occurs in the following body parts:
Tophi feel like bumps under the skin and they are only painful during gout attacks. When tophi grow, they erode the surrounding skin and joint tissues causing damages and eventual destruction of the joints.
If gout isn’t timely treated, acute attacks become more frequent and the inflammation resulting from the attacks and the growth of tophi will damage the joint tissues. Arthritis caused by gout may cause cartilage loss and bone erosion, thereby leading to the destruction of the joint.
The urate crystals that cause pain in the joints can also form in the kidneys creating painful kidney stones. A high concentration of urate kidney stones will affect kidney function.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, a majority of the people diagnosed with gout also suffer from chronic kidney disease which could lead to kidney failure. There are even opinions that a preexisting kidney disease can ultimately lead to gout.
Gout is commonly observed among people suffering from heart failures, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure.
Other medical conditions that are associated with gout include:
- Uric acid crystals in the lungs. Although it is a rare complication, its probability cannot be ruled out.
- Dry eye syndrome
Early diagnosis helps people with gout lead a normal life. If your disease has progressed to advanced stages, make appropriate diet changes to lower the uric acid levels that can resolve tophi and improve joint function.