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Strategies to Help Prevent Gout

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. This chemical can build up and crystallize in the joints, particularly the big toe joint, causing sudden and severe joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. If you have had a previous gout flareup, or have a family history of gout, learning and utilizing certain prevention strategies can help you avoid future painful flare ups. Consuming a diet low in purines, a chemical found in red meat, shellfish, and other types of food, which is converted to uric acid in the body, can also lower your risk of gout. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can reduce uric acid crystal formation in the kidneys. Losing excess weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and sugary beverages may also help. Certain medications may be prescribed by your doctor to lower uric acid levels in the body. To learn more about preventing and managing gout, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact William Urton, DPM from British Columbia. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Langley, BC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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