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GOUT

When was the last time you took in meat? Is it something you do often? What if I told you too much meat and “chilling” may lead to the condition we’re about to discuss now?

Gout which is a form of arthritis is usually described as the disease of the rich as it is usually seen in individuals who life affluent lives.

Gout is a common inflammatory joint disorder found in males. Gout is caused by deposition of monosodium urate crystals in joint and soft tissue after a consistent period of hyperuricemia. Gout largely develops from an overproduction under excretion of uric acid. Uric acid is a metabolite of purine metabolism in the body. And this substance is usually formed in meat and hence excess intake may lead to gout. There are several risk factors for development of gout, and they include genetics, renal disorders leading to under excretion of uric acid, lifestyle factors (diet and alcohol consumption), medication and medical conditions such as heart failure and diabetes. The incidence of gout is particularly prominent in men. Diagnosis of gout is based on symptom and observation of negatively birefringent, needle- shaped sodium urate crystals under a polarized light microscope.

CLINICAL MANIFESTATION

Gout manifest in stages as disease progression occurs. The initial symptom observed is monosodium urate crystal deposition in the first metatarsophalangeal joint (big toe) which develops rapidly with swelling and pain. Also, serum urate levels when measured will mostly be greater than 300µmol/L. Hyperuricemia may progress to tophus formation which can later progress to permanent joint damage. In the end stage, gouty nephropathy (renal damage from monosodium urate crystal deposition with time) may occur.

In conclusion, arthritis is an inflammation of the joint which usually results in high rates of morbidity and mortality. In all cases patient advice or counselling as well as selection of the appropriate medication will arrest disease progression and improve the health status/function of patient.


BY PRINCE PARKU

Princeparku14@gmail.com

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