colchicine pericarditis - Interesting Facts about Arthritis
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Interesting Facts about Arthritis

What exactly is arthritis? The term arthritis literally means joint inflammation, but it also is used to refer to more than 100 rheumatic diseases. These diseases can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints and may also affect other parts of the body. Some common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, gout, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.


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Diagnosing gout A physician can usually diagnose gout very easily. A physical examination as well as certain tests are used to measure the amount of uric acid in the blood. Sometimes a sample of fluid is taken from the joints and tested for the presence of urate crystals.

There are many different potential triggers for gout that you should be aware of if you suffer from the condition. One of the potential triggers that we've been asked about recently is sleep apnea. It may seem as though these two conditions are completely unrelated, but in reality, they are connected. The connection was first noticed when sleep apnea patients received treatment for their disorder and they noticed their gout symptoms simultaneously improved.

Other links between sleep apnea and gout include show up in the fact that not only are primary gout sufferers demographically the same as the primary sleep apnea sufferers (middle-aged, overweight men), but sleep apnea and gout are also both much more common among women who have been through menopause. Also, both gout and sleep apnea are associated with people who have a larger neck circumference.

What is gout? Gout is a type of arthritis. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in your joints. It can affect the foot, heel, ankle, elbow, wrist or hand. Most often though, it affects the big toe. Gout is a reoccurring problem that comes and goes. It usually comes on without warning, and then goes away after 7-10 days.

Who gets gout Although it is sometimes referred to as "rich mans disease", anyone can get it. About 5% of all cases of arthritis are actually gout. It is much more common in men than women, and usually develops in men in their late 30's or early 40's. Women usually develop gout later in life, in their 50's or 60's. Medical experts believe that estrogen protects women against hyperuricemia. During menopause when estrogen levels decrease, women lost this protection and uric crystals can start to accumulate in joints.

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The treatments for sleep apnea include preventative actions, such as avoiding sleeping on one's back. When sleeping on the back, the airway can become constricted and is more likely to close, causing the oxygen levels in the blood to be lower than in other sleeping positions. Therefore, changing the way you sleep can help to prevent gout attacks simply by increasing the overall blood oxygen level. Other sleep apnea treatments can include a pressurized CPAP mask or surgery.

What causes gout? Uric acid is naturally produced by the liver, and is found in the blood stream. Uric acid is a by-product of certain products, especially those containing purine. Foods that are known to contain large concentrations of purine include: sardines, anchovies, liver, brains, dried peas and beans.

Does arthritis affect more women than men? Rhemathoid arthritis is two to three times more common in women than men. Men, however, are at greater risk than women of developing gout.

Until recently, gout and sleep apnea have been treated separately. However, many sleep apnea patients who implement treatments for that condition find that their gout improves at the same time.

If you've suffered from a gout attack or two now is the time to take action to stop the attacks in their tracks and discover effective preventative steps before your uric acid levels get out of hand.

Preventing gout The best medication for gout is prevention. A healthy lifestyle decreases your chances for getting gout. Maintaining a proper weight, and limiting alcohol intake will help. Dehydration is also know to increase the formation of urate crystals. Drinking a lot of water daily will help "flush" uric acid from the blood stream. It is recommended that you drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Also, try to avoid foods high in purine such as alcohol, red meat, sardines, beans, rich sauces, scallops, liver and dried peas.

When does arthritis appear? Rheumatoid arthritis -- one of the many forms of arthritis -- typically begins at 20 to 50 years of age, although it can develop in childhood.

-Injury to the joint -Exposure to lead -Diet. Foods that contain large amounts of purine include red meat, creamy sauces, scallops, anchovies, beans, liver and heavy creamy sauces. -Medication. Aspirin, levodopa and several other medicines can interfere with the kidneys ability to remove uric acid from the body. -Excess body weight.

Treatments include anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids. These medications can help alleviate symptoms in as little as a week. Before taking any medications for gout, you need to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor. Certain medications can cause severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects.

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The reason for this link is believed to be the reduction in blood oxygen during apnea episodes, causing cell disintegration in the body and the generation of uric acid in the bloodstream. The cause of gout is, after all, the presence of uric acid crystals in the joints. Furthermore, during apnea there is an increase in the carbon dioxide percentage within the blood, making the blood's acidity level higher and increasing the risk of uric acid precipitation as monosodium urate. This can collect in the joints and can even lead to an increased risk of developing kidney stones.

 
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No matter the final remedy, improvements to a patients sleep apnea problem ensures that blood oxygen levels remain high, minimizing uric acid and monosodium urate precipitation and therefore gout flare ups.

Gout is a painful disease of the joints, which usually affects the big toe first in most people. It is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is formed by the breakdown of chemicals called purines, which can lead to high levels of uric acid and cause many problems such as joint swelling and kidney stones. Normally the uric acid is dissolved in the blood and passes out via the kidneys into the urine but if this does not occur it can build up in the body and cause the crystals to deposit and cause gout.

This effect is very similar to what happens within the cells when excess alcohol is consumed. And it should be noted that drinking alcohol can cause sleep apnea to become more pronounced. Therefore, gout sufferers with sleep apnea have two major reasons to avoid drinking alcohol.

What kind of cause can trigger arthritis? While genes appear to be a contributing factor to arthritis, there are other causes. Researchers believe that environmental agents -- a virus, or even stress, can trigger the disease in people who are genetically predisposed to it.

Some genetic diseases affect the breakdown of uric acid and also cause it to build up. Other causes include exposure to lead, foods high animal protein, some medications, obesity, excess alcohol or foods rich in purines. Some foods that cause gout are organ meats such as liver, brain and kidneys. Other foods include herring, anchovies, peas and dried beans. Alcohol affects the elimination of uric acid especially when taken in excess.

How many Amercians suffer from chronic symptoms of arthritis? 40 million! Are there several forms of arthritis? Yes, there are more than one hundred forms of arthritis and the causes of many are unclear. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (commonly referred to as simply arthritis) and rheumatoid arthritis. Gout is a less common form of the disease.

Most notably, though, is that gout attacks are the most common while asleep, indicating that sleep has an impact on gout attacks and sleep disturbances and conditions may also influence the causes of gout attacks.

Alcohol can interfere with the removal of uric acid from the body. Regular consumption of alcohol increases the likelihood of getting gout. Other risk factors include:

Symptoms of gout The main symptom of gout is severe pain. If the gout is in the feet, it can be so severe that the sufferer cannot stand. Inflamed skin around the joint can be red and shiny, and over the course of time can get worse. Over the course of time, the frequency of attacks will increase, and the attacks will last longer. If left untreated, more and more joints will be effected and stone-like deposits can build up in the joints. This is known as tophi, and can lead to permanent disability.

Low carbohydrate diets, especially when very protein rich and with inadequate water intake can also cause gout. A family history of gout may also predispose a person towards getting it.

Medications such as diuretics (which help the kidney eliminate more urine) or aspirin cause gout. And people who have had an organ transplant are prone to gout. Patients on numerous medicines should talk to their healthcare provider to see if there are interactions between medicine and if an alternate drug may help. The common vitamin niacin can also trigger gout.

Uric acid is filtered out of the body by the kidneys. It is then excreted in urine. When too much uric acid is produced by the liver, the kidneys are not able to remove it all, and it builds up in the blood stream. This build up of uric acid in the blood stream is known as hyperuricemia. Over time the uric acid crystallizes and ends up settling in joint spaces. White blood cells eventually mistake the crystals as a foreign invader to the body, and gather into the joints as well to attack the crystals. This causes inflammation, ie: swelling, redness, and the typical gout pain.

Diet and gout Most often, your diet will determine if you get gout. However, heredity is also a factor. About 18% of people with gout find that it runs in their families.

Treatment Doctors can prescribe several drugs. These drugs work to decrease the amount of uric acid in joints. This helps to reduce the symptoms and frequency of attacks. If not treated, serious permanent damage can occur. This can lead to permanent disability.

So, if you're suffering from gout, you may want to check to make sure that you are not also suffering from sleep apnea, as it may be one of the causes of gout aggravations in your body. Then you will be able to look into both sleep apnea treatments and remedies for the gout itself. Speak to your physician about undergoing a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or not.

This article was written by Scott Mogul, editor for Healthy Skin Guide and Quick Care. For additional information about gout and gout treatment, please visit www.healthy-skin-guide.com


 
 
     
 
 





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