Have you ever feel like your toes were on fire? Or worst, the feeling of slamming it with a hammer to put out the fire? If yes, then you have already encountered Gouty arthritis.
Gout can cause a painful burning sensation in the join. But can you imagine the feeling if this painful misery is being accompanied by fever and chills? As the temperature of your body soars high, surely your energy will end up being drained.
But here is the question, what is the reason behind this fever and chills?
Gout or Gouty arthritis is a type of metabolic disease which is accompanied by inflammation and pain. These symptoms are due to autoimmune responses.
The main reason for the formation of Gout is uric acid. The crystallization of uric acid in the joints is the start of the painful misery of Gout. The fact that a crystal shouldn’t exist in the joint, our immune system will identify it as a foreign object and will naturally attack it. Now, aren’t you curious how did the uric acid formed in the joints?
To feed your curiosity, here is the real thing. It is not the joint itself which the uric acid attacks. What the uric acid attacks are the synovial fluids found in the cavities of synovial joints. It is not actually normal for the uric acid to reach that part of our body. But it is possible, due to some conditions.
Acidosis. It is a condition where the body contains too much acid. This condition happens when the kidney and lungs are not able to handle the pH balance in the body. Our body produces acid in almost all of its processes and that makes it important for our kidneys to function well.
In normal conditions, our body can flush all of the produced uric acids out. But that will only be possible if uric acid is the only acid to be excreted. If another kind of acid is needed to be flushed, the liver, which an important organ that acts in uric acid disposal divides its attention. Hence, some uric acid remains.
The liver can only carry a specific amount of acid to dispose of. But, because of too much acid to carry out, the body acts on its own to excrete the excess amount of acids. This is the body’s way of balancing its pH level. This natural reaction of the body causes the unusual existence of uric acid in the joints.
Earlier, I have mentioned about our immune system’s response to the crystallized uric acid in the joints. Here is a deeper explanation. If our immune system finds an unusual object in our body. It will automatically respond by sending neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that acts as the first line of our body’s defense.
But unfortunately, this type of white blood cell is not naturally designed for dissolving crystals. The neutrophils will then send pain signals to the brain as a sign of accepting its defeat.
The pain signals being sent by neutrophils include pain, inflammation, fever, and chills. This set of misery will not end while the immune system of our bodies continually sends neutrophils to dissolve the crystal. While the neutrophils continually lose, pain signals will never cease to be sent as a signal of its defeat.
There is no way to stop the immune system to send neutrophils while a foreign object still exists in the body. But there is a medicine to kill neutrophils to eliminate the source of incessant pain. This medicine is called colchicine.
Colchicine is a medication used to lessen the inflammation caused by gout. It also helps in dissolving the formed uric acid in the joints. While this medicine lessens the pain caused by gout, this medication should not be used as a pain reliever.
Fever and chills accompanying gout are generally harmless unless the tophaceous deposit is starting to chip the joint away which can cause an infection. There is also a type of arthritis that can be accompanied by fever and chills, namely septic arthritis which is caused by an infection. Furthermore, if you have been suffering from gout for a long time and this is the first time that you experienced fever and chills, you should consult a trusted doctor.