What is gout and how does it affect the elderly? Gout is a very severe and more painful form of the condition called, arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation in the joints causing pain and stiffness. It’s most common in elderly men and symptoms include stiffness, heat, swelling and tenderness in the affected joints.
Since it can become more severe for the elderly, it sometimes results in deformities. Fortunately, there are some actions the elderly can take to help with systems.
How does one get gout?
Gout is formed by crystalized uric acid being deposited into the joints. For some people it may only last for a few days or it can last for several weeks, but for elderly it has much harsher consequences.
There is a target group of people that are more likely to get gout and suffer worse from it. The target group includes:
- Those with a family history of the disease are more likely to obtain it
- Those taking medications for other things can have gout affect them, including diuretics, cyclosporine, levodopa which is used for Parkinson’s, Niacin, and drugs with Salicylate like aspirin
- Those who are overweight are higher risk since their body creates more uric acid
- Those with various health conditions including renal insufficiency, high blood pressure, hemolytic anemia, certain cancers, and hypothyroidism
- Those who consume too much alcohol because it makes it harder to remove uric acid
What is it like to have gout and how is it treated?
Most don’t realize they have gout until they are diagnosed from having too much pain. Joints that are typically affected are the knee, ankle, hand, wrist, elbow and its most commonly found in the elderly in the big toe. The joints will swell and begin to turn purple or red in color from the skin being so tight and sensitive.
Your doctor can give you pain relief by offering and recommending:
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Using cold and hot therapy on the joints
- Elevating the joint at while sleeping
- Increasing water intake
- Changing to a low-fat diet
Your doctor will also want you to take on these changes to prevent future attacks and potential long-term complications. Long-term effects can be kidney damage or joint destruction.
Gout is a serious condition that more elderly are facing. The best thing they can is to work with their doctor by taking their treatment advice in order to decrease symptoms and avoid future attacks. Looking for ideal Las Vegas in home care? We can help.