Because Gout has been a fairly well documented condition throughout history, many attempts have been made to define gout. Most commonly known for affecting the big toe and labeled "Podagra" when it does, Gout is unmistakably one of the most painful forms of rheumatoid arthritis.

The signs of gout and the symptoms of gout include swollen, red, hot, shiny, and painful joints that are extremely debilitating. The episodes are known to last anywhere from a few hours to several months. Excessive uric acid in the bloodstream deposits in a joint and is often times troublesome to remove. The most common joint is the metatarsal-phanageal or the big toe, but any joint of the body can be affected with the more common ones being at the extremes; toes, feet, ankles, and fingers, hands, wrists. Less common are the knees and the elbows but they are nevertheless prone to gout attacks. Prolonged and excessive high levels of uric acid can lead to frequent and severe gout flare-ups and if left untreated can result in permanent joint and bone damage, as well as the development of Tophi.

When Tophi becomes present, the condition is referred to as Tophaceous Gout. Tophus is singular, while Tophi is plural. Extensive tophi are painless, hard deposits of uric acid crystals that form on the toes, elbows ears and other parts of the body. Unchecked, these deposits can lead to bone erosion, however the more alarming problem is that these kinds of deposits are also responsible for kidney stones. Urate nephropathy, or reduced and/or poor kidney function is the result of the formation of kidney stones and opens a pathway for various other illnesses and degenerative diseases to take root and flourish.

There are many contributing factors that are responsible for the onset and activity of the gout condition. Though often given the larger share of that responsibility, Genetics is not the strongest determining reason for the development of gout. Lifestyle is the single largest culprit for producing gout in the body. Poor diet, stress, excessive sugar intake, exposure to toxic chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, and obesity all fit within the typical profile of someone afflicted with gout.

To Diagnosing Gout, there are two common methods; the testing of Synovial Fluid and also Blood Tests. Drawing out synovial fluid to be observed under a microscope can help to identify the presence of crystallized uric acid and serves to draw a positive conclusion for gout. However, the timing is critical and not always the most readily available way to identify and confirm the condition of gout. Blood tests will show high levels of uric acid and if these findings coincide with the typical description of a gout attack, the likelihood of gout is all but certain. The only variable is usually that the condition may be a different form of gout called Pseudogout, which differs from typical gout due to excess Calcium Pyrophosphate (calcium) rather than excessive uric acid.

Gout Treatments fall into two categories; Holistic and Allopathic. Holistic practices are often referred to as "natural gout treatments" and involve dietary changes and supplementation, as well as lifestyle adjustments. This method observes and considers the interactions of the whole body, and how the complete system is functioning to produce the results of gout. Allopathic or western medicine seeks to isolate a specific imbalance and correct it by chemical manipulation. This method is most effective when used to reverse severe gout symptoms but is unreliable as a prolonged treatment when taking into account all the contributing factors that produce the condition of gout.

Author's Bio: 

Bert Middleton is a lifelong powder skiing and mountain biking addict. Due to a long and stressful sales career in the window & door industry, he was severely threatened with Chronic Gout. After a 13 year struggle, he triumphed over the unspeakable pain of Gout and went on to found to provide answers and relief to those hopelessly sentenced to Gout Hell.