Drop: what it is and how to treat it

Written by: Dr. Pere Barceló Garcia
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Gout usually appears in the lower extremities. It is caused by hyperuricemia and excess uric acid in the blood.

drop Gout, also known as gouty arthritis, is a disease known since Biblical times. According to specialists in rheumatology , is produced by the deposition in the joints of microcrystals of uric acid and affects those patients with hyperuricemia, ie excess uric acid in blood (one greater than 7 mg / dl concentration point solubility at body temperature uric acid).

It is noteworthy that uric acid is a product of purine degradation, a component present in the nuclei of cells. Any condition that produces a deficit in the renal excretion of uric acid or excess production can cause it to be deposited in the form of microcrystals in the joints. What causes this process is an inflammatory stimulus level of the articular synovial membrane, triggering arthritis.


Causes of gout

The cause of gout is hyperuricemia, although not all people who suffer from gout presented. There are two main causes for hyperuricemia occurs: the existence of a deficit in the elimination of uric acid in the kidney or excessive production. The most common cause (90% of cases) is the deficit elimination, and usually has a genetic component. However, certain factors may contribute to the onset of gout:

  • purine diet (foods like red meat, seafood and meats)
  • alcohol (decreases the elimination of uric acid)
  • comorbidities that alter the endogenous metabolism (renal failure, psoriasis, blood dyscrasias involving changes in the number of white and red blood cells, etc.)
  • some drugs


Symptoms and treatment of gout

Gout typically manifests with episodes of:

  • intense joint pain (arthritis) with swelling
  • redness
  • increased local temperature
  • increased sensitivity to touch

Moreover, usually it presented as a single arthritis (monoarthritis) in joints of the lower limbs (mainly the big toe or ankle).

Sometimes they can form accumulations of uric acid in the soft tissues, as ("tophi") hard nodules that sometimes can open and pour the contents out.

Today there are very effective treatments to reduce hyperuricemia which allow the dissolution of uric acid crystals, to avoid outbreaks of arthritis or deposits occur in soft tissues.


Who is affected by gout?

Gout usually affects adult patients. However, there are rare hereditary diseases included in the group of inborn errors of metabolism that can cause drop in childhood. One example is Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, caused by a deficiency of an enzyme (hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase), which regulates the metabolism of purines. This syndrome and a children's drop is associated with neurologic and cognitive dysfunctions.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection
Dr. Pere Barceló Garcia

By Dr. Pere Barceló Garcia

Dr. Pere Barceló Garcia is a prestigious specialist in Rheumatology . He has more than 40 years of experience in the profession and extensive training in different fields of the specialty. Specifically, he is an expert in rheumatic diseases and pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondylitis and polymyalgia rheumatica, among others. His status as a first level professional allows him to be a member of the American College of Rheumatology.

Throughout his professional career, he has combined his care work with teaching , being a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona (1974-1976). In addition, he has participated in hundreds of studies and clinical trials related to various rheumatic diseases, and is the author of several treatises on pathologies of the musculoskeletal system . His academic and professional achievements earned him to preside over the Spanish Society of Rheumatology , and later be Honorary President . Currently, he is the Head of the Rheumatology Unit of the University Hospital of the Vall d'Hebrón.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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