Many people think that gout only attacks the joints, especially the big toe joints. As a matter of fact, gouty inflammation can also affect some other parts of the body such as tendon, ligament, and muscle tissue. It is all caused by the deposits of crystallized acidic compounds known as urate crystals.
When the urate crystals form within the synovial fluid of the joint, it causes a painful inflammation known as gout. If the crystals deposit below the skin surface, it forms some hard bumps (that can grow bigger and bigger) known as gouty tophi.
There are some cases of which the acid crystallization happens at the tendon that connects the bone to muscle. It might not cause the gouty inflammation that occurs in the typical gout attack, but the patient experienced some burning and tingling sensations. In some cases, the urate crystals deposit is so serious that it hardened the tendon and disabled the movement of the affected part.
Since cases like this are rather rare and is usually mistaken as some physical injury that causes the tearing of the tendon, it is important to have proper differential diagnosis for gout to identify the actual cause of the pain.
The first diagnostic method is to have a blood test to find out the uric acid level of the blood serum. If the reading is way beyond the healthy range, then it is confirmed that a person is having hyperuricemia, which support the deposition of urate crystals.
If the blood test result is normal and healthy, then other information is required to further diagnose the case. This is because there are many cases in which the patients are having normal blood uric acid reading, but the joint pain is actually gouty arthritis.
Different individual has different rate of uric acid metabolism. For some, the uric acid in the blood seeps faster into the intercellular and synovial fluid and that prevent the rise of blood uric acid level. For some other, the excess acid tends to stay within the bloodstream, resulting in hyperuricemia but do not show any signs of gout attack. The most common gout cases are those of which a patient is having high uric acid content both inside and outside of the bloodstream.
Gouty inflammation is usually triggered by the food a person eats. This is because when someone eats some high purine or high protein meals, it will cause a surge of uric acid in the in the body which will eventually result in the formation of new urate crystals that trigger another round of gout attack.
The conclusion is that gout can exist in many different forms and different location. Once the urate crystals formed, it is very hard to remove them. The only effective way to get rid of these sickening crystals is to dissolve them. Try to soak your feet in hot warm water for 10 to 15 minutes everyday. That can help to improve the blood flow and increase the fluid exchange rate. Higher temperature increases the solubility uric acid which helps to melt away the urate crystals.