Gout in the Elderly
Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by sudden and severe attacks of pain and swelling in the joints, especially the big toe. These attacks can occur randomly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint can be so tender that even the weight of a bedsheet can be unbearable. Gout Age of Onset The age range for gout depends on the person’s sex. The average age for gout in males is usually between 30 and 50. Meanwhile, the age of gout onset often occurs after menopause in females, which is usually between 45 and 55.
Complications of Gout
Tophi- These clumps of urate crystals form on the joints, cartilage, and, sometimes, in the ears. If left untreated, this gout rash can damage your bones, cartilage, and joints.
Joint damage and deformities- Chronic inflammation and tophi can lead to permanent joint damage, deformity, and stiffness. This may also require a need for surgery.
Kidney stones- Urate crystals can build up in the urinary tract and form kidney stones, resulting in a gout UTI. They can also result in kidney disease and kidney failure when left untreated.
Psychological problems- Gout can affect one’s ability to carry out daily tasks, such as walking. This constant pain can result in emotional distress, which could benefit from psychological counseling.
Treatment for Gout
Medications- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, and corticosteroids have been known to prevent gout complications. Additionally, medications that block uric acid production or improve uric acid removal can also be very effective.
Choose healthy food and drinks- Non-alcoholic beverages, especially water, and purine-rich foods, can be helpful for people with gout.
Exercise and maintain a healthy weight- Engaging in low-impact exercises and keeping your body at a healthy weight can reduce one’s risk for gout.
Source: Complications of Gout in Elderly (griswoldhomecare.com)