Gout is often referred to as podagra. It is an inflammation in joints due to the fact that crystals of uric acid are common in the joints. Because of the inflammation, the joint becomes painful, hot, red and swollen.

Uric acid is a substance that is formed in the body. from the decomposition of purine rich nutrients. Generally, there is a balance between production and excretion of uric acid from the body. In uric acid it is usually too much uric acid in the blood. This is usually due to the fact that the excretion through the kidneys is not as effective as normal, but it can also be caused by excessive production of uric acid.

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Causes of Podagra

High levels of uric acid in the blood and imbalance in uric acid concentration trigger uric acid attack. The attacks are seen in major tissue damage, surgery, hunger, severe diarrhea with fluid loss, thirsty, diuretic drugs, by ingestion of all types of alcohol or without prior notice. Sometimes abundant intake of purine-containing foods, such as food, peas, beans, sardines, yeast and beer, can cause seizures. 1

Uric acid is one of the body’s wastes that are secreted through the kidneys. As the amount of uric acid in the body increases, uric acid crystals may be excreted in the joints and acute inflammation of the joints occurs. However, elevated uric acid content in the blood does not necessarily lead to uric acid levels. There are many reasons why the amount of uric acid in the body increases:

  • Some have inherited an increased risk
  • Some people eat large quantities of foods that, among other things, break down into uric acid, such as meat, feed, mackerel and anchovy
  • Certain diseases with high cell turnover, eg psoriasis, increase uric acid levels
    In case of renal impairment, less uric acid is secreted. The same is true of drinking alcohol, which is a frequent cause of acute urinary acne
  • High intake of fruit sugar (fructose). In particular, there is a problem with greater intake of sweet soda drinks, which are industrially added to fructose-containing sugars. Intake of sweet fruit in normal amounts hardly poses any problem, and due to The fruit’s otherwise beneficial effects on health do not discourage a regular consumption of sweet fruit
  • Artificially sweetened soda drinks do not lead to an increase in the concentration of uric acid in the blood

There are also other factors that ensure high blood urea levels in the blood:

  • Too high alcohol consumption, especially beer
  • High intake of red meat
  • Overweight
  • The combination of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol
  • Use of certain medicines, such as diuretic medications against high blood pressure and common acetylsalicylic acid

Symptoms of gout

Joint pain usually occurs abruptly, usually over a few hours. Osteoarthritis usually occurs as an attack. But there are other symptoms than that. Generally, urinary systolic affects the root of the big toe, but also other joints in the foot, ankle, knee, wrist, fingers, or elbow can be painful. It usually appears that you experience acute swelling, redness and pain in one single joint. The pain is violent, but they diminish within a week’s time. The uric acid can divert itself into the skin, where it is seen as small, gold-white nodules. If uric acid deposits in the kidneys, you may have kidney stones. 2

Clear crystals can also be formed under the skin of your hands, knees, wrists, elbows or ears. They look like white lumps, and the doctors call these lumps for tophi. The doctor will probably be able to diagnose uric acid by investigating. Probably you will also need a blood test to check how much uric acid you have in the blood.

During the attack, one feels sick, often with fever, sweating and nausea. The pain can eventually increase, especially about the nights, and the joints with the surroundings become so hot and swollen that it all can recall an infection. Upon examination of arthritis, plenty of typical pointed uric acid crystals are detected together with increased white blood cell count.

Treatment options

There are several drugs that have a good effect. The treatment of acute seizures and prevention is different. You can do your own treatment or seek medical help.

What can you do yourself?

To avoid new attacks, cut down on alcohol consumption and sweet soda drinks, and eat less meat, feed, mackerel and anchovy. It is also important that you slim if you are overweight.

It may help to put an ice pack around the painful joints. You can make an ice pack by wrapping a frozen pea bag in a towel. To keep the bed away from your wounded joint at night, you can make a protective cover for your joint, for example, using a cardboard box.

The likelihood of getting uric acid increases if you eat certain foods or drink beer or alcohol. You can prevent gout by changing your food and drinking habits, but there is not much research that shows the effect of this.

Doctors recommend the following measures:

  • Weight reduction using a calorie-reduced diet (if you are overweight)
  • Eat less meat and fish
  • Drink less alcohol and choose wine instead of beer or spirits
  • Drink one glass of skim milk every day

Medical help for podagra

Medical treatment of uric acid regimens consists partly of treatment of pain in seizures, and partly by preventive treatment. Acute joint pain can be treated with NSAIDs (anti-gout and pain), with adrenal gland hormone can be injected into the joints or with colchicine. In case of repeated seizures, as well as very high uric acid in the blood, you should receive a preventive treatment.

For the prevention of uric acid regimens, allopurinol, febuxostat, colchicine and probenecid are used. Allopurinol and febuxostat inhibit the formation of uric acid. The effect is that the drug blocks an enzyme that is necessary for uric acid formation. Kolkisin dampens the inflammation process in the joints. Probenicid increases the secretion of uric acid through the kidneys. However, this treatment does not work if renal function is impaired.


  1. Podagra – NHS
  2. Gout – CKS.NICE