What is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis which can develop because of high levels of uric acid in the blood. This acid forms crystals which when deposited in a joint such as the big toe joint can cause irritation and pain.
The condition can cause severe episodes of tenderness, swelling, pain, redness, and warmth. When the uric acid levels in the blood continue to be high, the person can develop chronic gout. The attacks can become more frequent and may not go away with the usual treatment.
What Other Risk Factors Are There for Gout?
Gout is more likely to develop if:
- A family member has gout
- You take diuretics or immune suppressing medications
- You eat larger amounts of shellfish and red meat
- You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day
- You are overweight or obese
- You have undergone bypass surgery
- You drink sodas or sugary drinks which contain fructose
What Treatments Are Used?
When a person is suffering from an acute gout attack, the first step is to get the swelling and pain under control. This would be done in the office. Some tips to help relieve symptoms:
- Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, drink lots of water instead
- Ice and elevate the affected joint
- Relax, stress can make it worse
- Take an anti-inflammatory drug if you can
- Call the doctor to make an appointment
Corticosteroids are also used to treat the inflammation. Medications which lower uric acid levels are also available.
Call us at 727-842-9504 to make an appointment. Dr. Zafar will sit down with you and discuss options to proceed with.