Since ancient times, gout has been attacking humans. However, even today, these gout attacks are still not fully understood and are a mystery. Today we do know that when an individual has a high level of uric acid in his or her blood stream, some of these people will get a gout attack. However, we still don’t clearly understand why uric acid accumulates in crystal form in some individuals but not in others and how to prevent gout all the time.
We still don’t even know why gout exists. Through research, we have learned from researchers who study gout attacks that gout has three stages. The first stage is called acute gouty arthritis. Then comes the second stage called intercritical gout. The worst and third stage is called chronic tophaceous gout.
After the individual recovers from the first phase of acute gouty arthritis, usually there is a period free of symptoms that is referred to as the intercritical gout stage. Therefore, this intercritical gout phase is any time period between the first gout attack and another attack. In the second stage there is no swelling or pain from an attack of gout.
The only real way to confirm that an individual has gout is through testing for uric acid crystals being present. The ideal time for performing this test is in the stage of acute gouty arthritis. However, when a patient is in the stage of intercritical gout, it is more difficult but still possible to validate gout due to there being no symptoms. If uric acid crystals are present inside the joint, the test will indicate positive for that despite there being no gout symptoms.
Gout patients who don’t get the proper treatment for gout attacks will often suffer a new attack soon after they had their first attack. In one study on gout, 62 percent of individuals suffered one gout attack at least within a year of the first attack. The recurrence percentage increased to 78 percent after two years and to 93 percent after a decade.
It is extremely important during their intercritical gout phase for patients to work closely with their doctor, even though they don’t have any symptoms at that time. Secondary factors contributing to high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) should be dealt with by your doctor and you. The best ways of treating it includes losing weight, cutting high purine foods out of your diet and by taking medication. The best time for making lifestyle changes is in the intercritical gout phase to help eliminate gout attacks in the future.
Lifestyle changes will be recommended by most doctors. Usually they include removing foods rich in purines from the diet and stopping the use of medications contributing to gout. Reducing alcohol consumption is another recommendation that might be made. Finally, if the individual is overweight, they will be encouraged to lose weight. The best time to do this is within the intercritical gout phase through gout diet receipts.
A majority of patients will suffer more gout attacks in the future if they don’t do anything to prevent the attacks from occurring. Additional gout attacks can start affecting more joints in the body. A majority of these subsequent attacks will be more painful and last longer. Recurring gout attacks also can also cause damage to the joints. For all the above reasons, it is very important for you to consult with your doctor on the way way for dealing with gout. To get the best results, the ideal time for treatment to take place is within the intercritical gout phase.