Gout in the Knee
Gout in the knee basically refers to a condition which is characterized by swelling, redness & pain. This condition is related to arthritis when crystals of uric acid amass in the joints causing inflammation. Commonly, it causes pain and swelling in one of the joints of your body. In most cases, it occurs in your big toe. However, it can also affect other joints like that of your feet, ankles, hands, fingers, wrists elbows and knees. With the knees in mind, this article specifically deals with gout in the knee.
The main cause of the on set of gout in the knee (in most cases) is high level of uric acid in the blood. This happens due to two main reasons:
• The kidneys are malfunctioning & not passing the urate quickly enough
• The body is producing excessive amounts of urate
With the high level of uric acid, crystals amass the joints, causing pain and swelling and thus developing into gout in the knee.
1. Swelling & Redness - in the joints is one of the major symptoms associated with this problem. When gout occurs in the knees, the skin of the knees become irritable and the joints swell up.
2. Fatigue – Fatigue tends to cause energy to drain out. Thus, someone who is affected by gout in the knee would feel tired and fatigued.
3. Increase Uric Acid - As mentioned earlier, Gout is caused by the increase of uric acid levels. This could be one of the symptoms to lookout for. If you feel that your uric acid has noticeably increased, see a doctor.
4. Pain – Pain due to gout in the knee usually starts at night or during sleep. The logic behind this is that when you sleep, synovial fluids, which clean your joints, do not flow properly to clean the excess debris. Hence, uric acid crystals accumulate and cause intense pain. If the pain is severe and increases rapidly contact your doctor immediately.
Get a blood test done as soon as you experience the above stated symptoms. Blood tests will determine the level of your uric acid, which will help the physician diagnose your condition. Diagnosis can also be done by a bone marrow biopsy – removing bone or fluid in your joints. This is done in laboratories to check the presence of excessive uric acid crystals. In addition to this, kidney function tests are also helpful in diagnosing gout in the knees.
One of the best treatments is rest. This will help reduce swelling and decrease the pain by settling the symptoms. Icing for 20 minutes a day is also recommended. Corticosteroids are considered to be very effective in treating gout in the knee. In addition, Colchicine medicine is recommended by most physicians for curing gout as it reduces the buildup of urate. Lastly, NSAID’s (over the counter medication) have also proved to be effective when taken at earlier stages of gout development.
Gout in the knee can be prevented by:
• Alcohol – Excessive intake of alcohol should be avoided
• Fructose-Sweetened Drinks - Beverages such as soda and fruit juice should be avoided.
• Maintain Healthy Weight – Overweight people are more likely to suffer from gout in the knee
• Purine-Rich Food - Here is a list of purine rich foods to consider avoiding
Do You Have Gout in the Knee? Please Share Your Story Below.