The Atlanta Center for Medical Research is currently seeking adult volunteers to participate in a clinical study of gout.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, gout is “a kind of arthritis that causes an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe.” Gout, which is most common in men, is caused by too much uric acid in the blood, which may form hard crystals in joints. Chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines. These attacks of sudden pain can stay reoccurring if not treated.
Symptoms of gout include:
- Nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness, and sharp pain in your big toe (can also occur in your foot, ankle, knees, or other joints)
- Limited movement in the affected joint
- Very red or purplish skin around affected joint
- Peeling and itching of the skin around the affected joint
The goals of treatment for gout are fast pain relief and prevention of future gout attacks and long-term complications, such as joint destruction and kidney damage. Further research for gout will help health care professionals better treat and prevent cases of this condition.