Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis. It can be described as a form of arthritis disease that causes the development of inflammation in the joints. This disease is characterized by an abrupt, severe attack of swelling and pain in the joints. In addition to this, patients might also experience redness and tenderness in the affected part. This usually begins in one joint, then spreads to other parts. It causes the joint to appear red, swollen, hot and tender. In addition, patients will experience some pain within 12 hours of the onset of the disease. This disease might eventually result in the formation of renal stones. This is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint. Gout is formed as a result of the high amount of uric acid in the blood circulation, this is usually as a result of two factors, which are genetics, diet, and environmental factors. Uric acid undergoes some processes to form crystals, which accumulates in the joints and tissues. Gout is more predominant in people that consume a lot of meat, drink lots of alcohol, obese or overweight. This disease isn’t difficult to diagnose. It can be detected by evaluating the blood level of uric acid, and also confirming the presence of crystals in the synovial fluid of the joints. Gout is usually treated with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples of these medications are aspirin and ibuprofen. Other drugs used in treating this disease include allopurinol and vitamins. Mesenchymal stem cells can locate and repair injured or damaged tissues and joints
Signs And Symptoms Of Gout?
The signs and symptoms of gouty arthritis mostly occur suddenly, and often at night. This inflammatory arthritic disease usually presents in various ways, however, the most common presentation of this disease is the inflammation of the joints. The extremity is usually the most affected part, an example is the metatarsal-phalangeal joint of the big toes. This accounts for about half of all gout cases. However, other parts of the body are also affected. This includes the joints of the knee, finger and the wrist. The pain associated with gout often lasts for an average of three hours and occurs mostly at night. This can be attributed to the less temperature at night. Other symptoms that occur in gout include;
- Serious joint pain: This usually affects the large joint in the big toe. However, it can also affect any joint in the body. Other commonly affected joints include the knee, ankles, elbows, fingers and the wrist.
- The rigidity of the joint
- Restricted range of motions: The range of motion in the affected joints would reduce as the disease progresses.
- Joint tenderness and inflammation, which usually appears hot, red and warm to touch.
- Abrupt and severe pain in the joint, that occurs typically at night or just as the day begins.
- Discomfort: Patient often experience pain even after the most serious pain has reduced. Later episodes of attacks tend to persist and affect more joints.
When this disease is not well managed or untreated, the uric acid that developed into crystals can form a ball and deposit under the skin around the joint. This is also referred to as tophi. Tophi doesn’t injure or affect the body in any way, but they disfigure the joints. In addition, these crystals can also aggregate in the urinary tract, to form kidney stones, where they can block the passage of urine.
What Is The Cause Of Gout?
Gout is caused by the high amount of uric acid in the blood, subsequently followed by the crystallization of the uric acids, which then deposits in the joints, and tissues that surrounds the joints. This can as a result of a combination of many factors, such as genetics, diet, environmental factors and so on. However, the under-excretion of uric acid by the renal system is the primary cause of elevated uric acid in over ninety percent of cases. On the other hand, the overproduction of uric acid represents less than 10% of causes of gout.
Lifestyle: The kind of food people consume goes a long way, in determining how predisposed to the disease they would be. People that consume a lot of meat products, and drinks an excess amount of alcohol have a high chance of having gout. According to statistics, diet and nutrition are responsible for about twelve percent of causes of gout. On the other hand, the regular consumption of vitamins, such as Vitamin A and C, as well as engaging in regular physical exercise significantly reduces the chances of having gout.
Heredity: A percentage of all gout cases is as a result of genetics. Some genes have been identified to be closely connected to the development of gout. These defected genes cause hypouricemia, by decreasing the absorption of urate, and not opposing urate secretion. There are some diseases that are often complicated by gout, some of the diseases include Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephropathy.
Other diseases: Gout often occurs in association with other diseases. The most prominent of these kinds of diseases is a metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of diseases that include abdominal obesity, hypertension, abnormally high blood lipid level and insulin resistance. This is responsible for up to 80% of cases. Other diseases that get complicated with gout include renal failure, psoriasis, organ transplants lead poisoning and so on. Obesity increases the risk of males having obesity by almost three times. In addition to this, the consumption of alcoholic drinks that are contaminated with lead could also lead to gout, as well as a long-term exposure to lead.
Drugs: Some medications have been implicated as causes of gout. This drugs possibly increases the crystallization process of uric acid, or increase the amount of uric acid in the blood. Some of the drugs that are associated with the development of gout include hydrochlorothiazide, Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta blockers and so on.
How Is Gout Currently Treated?
The initial focus of the treatment of this disease is to ease the symptoms and also the pain and discomfort associated with the disease. Medications are usually administered by the physician. Some of the medications are below;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These drugs are usually the first line, in the treatment of drugs. Improvements are usually seen within a period of 4 hours after using the drug. Examples are aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Colchicine: This medication is meant for those that react to NSAID.
- Other drugs: Other drugs that can be used to treat this disease include interleukin-1 inhibitors. An example of this group of the drug is the Canakinumab.
Stem Cell Therapy Of Gout
Stem cells are unique cells that are capable of regenerating and proliferating. These cells also have the ability to repair and replace damaged tissues. Stem cells also have the ability to modulate the inflammatory processes in the body. This is what makes them appropriate for the treatment of gout. Mesenchymal stem cells can locate and repair injured or damaged tissues and joints. Some physicians do inject the stem cells into the affected part of the body. Improvements are usually seen within a short period of time.
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Scadden, D. and Srivastava, A. (2012). Advancing Stem Cell Biology toward Stem Cell Therapeutics. Cell Stem Cell, 10(2), pp.149-150.Get More Stem Cell Information at iSTEMCELL