Gout is a common health condition affecting approximately eight million people in the United States. The debilitating disease is not curable, but with the right treatment and prevention methods, it is manageable.
Continue reading to learn how to prevent gout before it affects your life.
What Is Gout?
Gout is classified as a form of inflammatory arthritis. This type of arthritis is the result of an excess of uric acid in the body that forms into crystals in the joints. Uric acid comes from a chemical found in certain foods and an excess buildup occurs when it isn't filtered out through your kidneys and then removed through urination.
Gout can cause extreme bouts of pain, but it also causes swelling of the joints, warmth, and redness of the affected area. The symptoms of gout can be triggered by eating certain foods, taking certain medications, being dehydrated, becoming hospitalized, or being obese.
Flare-ups may occur at night, without warning, interrupting sleep. The episodes may last for several days to a few weeks.
There are steps that you can take to prevent gout attacks.
See a Rheumatologist
If you are worried that you are at risk of developing gout, talk to a rheumatologist to see what they suggest doing for gout prevention. They will be able to discuss pain management and lifestyle changes with you in more depth.
There are some medications that your rheumatologist may prescribe to prevent the onset of gout symptoms. Medication is also used to manage the symptoms once they have already presented themself.
Allopurinol is the most commonly prescribed medication to treat gout. It reduces the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. It is found that some patients have allopurinol hypersensitivity. There is testing available to make sure that you won't react to this option.
Diets high in alcohol consumption and red meat can contribute to the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Avoiding foods and beverages high in purines (the chemical that produces uric acid) can help you to prevent uric acid buildup in your body.
If you do have gout, you can eat a well-balanced diet to prevent the onset of symptoms.
With a well-balanced diet and physical activity or exercise implemented into your lifestyle before the onset of gout symptoms, you can reduce your chances of getting it.
Simple changes in your daily activities can lower your risk of developing gout and minimize your gout attacks.
Now You Know How to Prevent Gout: Don't Gout It Alone
With millions of people dealing with the same problem, health professionals know how to prevent gout attacks. If you are suffering from gout, you aren't alone. You can find relief from your symptoms.
If you think you might be at risk, talk to your doctor today to see what preventative measures you should take.
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