Contribution: Rachna Arya
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that can affect anyone. This condition is the result of too much uric acid that forms crystals.
These tiny, hard, sharp crystals often migrate to the toes and accumulate in a joint, usually the big toe, ankle, ankle, or knee. It is more common in men than women, mainly because women have lower uric acid levels.
This usually occurs after menopause in women, as women reach these uric acid levels only after menopause.
Symptoms of Gout
The hallmark symptom of gout is pain that affects the joints. But for some people, experiences during a gout flare-up include ongoing fatigue and a general feeling of being sick.
Gout symptoms are usually not noticeable unless you are experiencing a gout attack. These symptoms are most pronounced when a gout attack affects two or more joints.
A gout attack usually lasts five to seven days, during which you will experience symptoms.
During a gout attack, symptoms in the affected joint may include:
- Severe debilitating pain
- the warmth
What triggers gout flareups?
You don’t want to experience another gout attack after you’ve already had one. To avoid a gout attack, you must first determine what is causing your symptoms.
Here’s a list of the usual suspects and what you should do about it.
Certain foods increase the level of uric acid in your body. If you can avoid purine-rich foods and drinks, you may be able to avoid another flare. You should avoid the following foods:
- Red meat and seafood can be high in chemicals called purines. When your body breaks down these purines, your body’s uric acid levels rise. Instead, it is recommended that you consume plant-based protein or low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as high-fructose corn syrup, can trigger gout. Avoid ice cream, candy, canned juice, cereal and fast food. For a sweet alternative, it is recommended that you switch to fruit, which will not increase your chances of an attack.
- alcohol Alcohol (such as vodka and whiskey) and beer can make you more likely to get gout. So your best bet is to limit how much you drink.
Certain medications can increase uric acid levels. These drugs include:
- Certain water pills (diuretics) for high blood pressure and other conditions
- Some drugs used for slowing down Preventive management
Certain health conditions and treatments can also cause elevated uric acid levels. These include:
- excess weight If you lose weight, you can protect yourself from another flare.
- If you lose weight too quickly by crash dieting or fasting, you may be more likely to have an attack.
- High blood pressure and heart disease. These medical conditions increase your chances of developing gout, especially if you don’t get treatment.
- Certain genetic predispositions combined with other risk factors or conditions — such as kidney disease or diabetes — cause the body to build up uric acid and form crystals.
- Injury or surgical procedure. A flare-up is more likely if your body is stressed or ill. Of course, you won’t always be able to avoid this trigger. If you must have surgery, make sure your doctor knows you’ve had gout in the past.
How can you prevent gout?
If you are at risk for gout, you can make some simple lifestyle changes.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your kidneys working well and avoid dehydration
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight in your body increases uric acid and puts extra stress and strain on the joints
- Do your best to limit purines in your body, as they can create painful uric acid.
- Limit stress levels to prevent or reduce gout pain and attacks
Although the symptoms of a gout attack usually resolve on their own, people are advised to seek medical advice.
Gout, if left untreated, can become chronic and cause long-term joint damage. A clinical examination by a physician is used to make a diagnosis.
Blood tests, urine tests, and medical imaging, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, may also be used to make a diagnosis.
You should also opt for frequent arthritis screenings. This health check can provide you with a comprehensive insight into your health, allowing you to take the necessary precautions to stay on top of your health.
Book an arthritis test today!
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