Gout in the Hand: What It Is and How to Treat It

May 29, 2024 | 1 min read

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Gout in the hand is a form of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid, leading to painful joint inflammation. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, and redness in the hand joints.

What is gout in the hand?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. When uric acid builds up, it forms sharp crystals in joints, causing pain and inflammation. Gout can affect any joint, including those in the hand, leading to swelling, redness, and discomfort. 

According to ResearchGate, damage to the hand in patients with gout is uncommon and typically detected only at an advanced stage.

The underlying mechanism involves the body's inability to properly eliminate uric acid, resulting in crystal formation.

How do you get gout in your hand?

Gout in the hand develops due to several causes and risk factors. High levels of uric acid in the blood are a primary cause.

This often results from a diet rich in purines, which are found in foods like red meat and seafood.

Other factors include genetics, obesity, and certain health conditions. These factors increase the risk of developing gout. When uric acid crystals form in the hand joints, they cause the painful symptoms associated with gout.

What are the symptoms of gout in your hand?

The symptoms of gout in the hand are often sudden and intense.

  • Severe pain in the joints of the hand, often occurring at night.
  • Redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.
  • Shiny skin over the joint, which may peel.
  • Limited range of motion in the affected joints.

Symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks, with symptom-free intervals in between.

How to treat gout in the hand?

Treating gout in the hand involves several approaches to manage pain and reduce uric acid levels.

  • Resting the affected hand and applying ice packs can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Drinking plenty of water is important to help flush uric acid from the body.
  • Dietary changes, such as reducing intake of purine-rich foods like red meat and seafood, can also help.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol are beneficial in managing gout.
  • Regular medical check-ups and following a doctor's advice are crucial for effective treatment.
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