Gout is a complex form of arthritis that includes sudden and severe pain attacks. These attacks occur in your joints, often at the base of your big toe, and are accompanied by redness, heat, and extreme tenderness.
The initial, intense pain of gout can last from a few hours to a few days and is followed by a lingering discomfort that may last up to a week. During your gout attack, your range of motion may be limited.
Gout is more common in men than women, although once women hit menopause, gout becomes more frequent.
Gout occurs when there’s a high level of uric acid in your blood, which happens when your body either produces too much or your kidneys excrete too little. This causes urate crystals to form and accumulate in your joints. These needle-like crystals lead to inflammation, causing the pain, swelling, and redness associated with gout.
While anyone can develop gout, there are risk factors that make you more prone to the disorder. Consuming a lot of red meats, seafood, fruit sugar, sweetened drinks, and beer may make you more likely to have gout. Other risk factors include:
Dr. Nathaniel and Dr. Rebekah can treat gout many ways. They may recommend medications to help reduce pain and inflammation. These may include:
To prevent further attacks, your rheumatologist may also suggest medications to block uric acid production or ones that improve uric acid removal.
Beyond medications, your rheumatologist counsels you on lifestyle changes that can protect your joints from the long-lasting effects of gout. They may suggest:
If you’re looking for a way to reduce the frequency and severity of your gout attacks, you can find help at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center. Call today to learn more, or book your appointment online now.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!