How Does Gout Affect the Body?

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Stage IV

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Once the attack of gout recurs for the second time, there is greater chance for the third, fourth, and other flares to occur. The interval time between the second attack and the next flares can grow faster than the interval time between the first attack and the second attack.

The stage IV is the final phase. It is a condition when the disease has become chronic which then eventually going to the advanced stage. It is typically characterized by more frequent flare-ups of gout.

The pain can be more painful and even may strike between flares. At advanced stage, the lumps of uric acid called tophi in the affected joints can be clearly noticed during flare-up.

Gout_stages

*Credit to HSS for the picture.

Complications

Knowing the common complications of gout can help you understand the way of how gout affects the body more easily. There are some more-severe conditions that could occur due to gout (especially chronic gout).

These complications include:

The risk of damage to the joint

Multiple attacks of gout can increase the risk of joint damage. There may be no treatment that can help a lot for the prior damage, but some treatments are available to help prevent another flare from recurring.

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Once the joint has been damaged, it can be difficult to restore it. In other words, the best way to cope with gout is by preventing the flare-up.

Tophi

Chronic gout with poor treatment may cause tophi, lumps (deposits of uric acid crystals). These lumps are most likely to occur in the joint of big toe, the most common site where gout occurs. They can be found in other joints, too – such as elbows, fingers, and ankles.

Tophi are usually not painful. But they often become tender and swollen. Allopurinol therapy is usually the common treatment to cope with this complication.

The risk for kidney stones

The excess crystals of uric acid in people with gout are not only accumulated in the joint. There is chance for them to accumulate in the urinary tract, too – increasing the risk of kidney stones.

In other words, if you have gout – the worse way of your effort in controlling the amount of uric acid can increase the r risk of kidneys stones.

Possible complications

  1. Recurrent episodes of gout are often associated with hypertension or high blood pressure. And hypertension can worsen gout, too – since it can affect the function of the kidneys.
  2. Heart attacks. High levels of uric acid in the bloodstream may have contribution in increasing the likelihood of blood clots, the common cause of heart attack.
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