What Is Gout? Signs, Causes, Treatment & Prevention
We list the various signs, causes, and prevention tips for gout.
Severe and sudden joint pain can be a sign of gout
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops due to an excess buildup of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a waste product produced when the body breaks down purines found in certain foods and drinks. Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood, passes through the kidneys, and gets excreted in the urine.
However, when there is an excessive production of uric acid or the kidneys fail to eliminate enough of it, it can lead to the formation of urate crystals in the joints and tissues. In this article, we list the various signs, causes, and prevention tips for gout.
- Severe and sudden joint pain
- Swelling, redness, and tenderness in the affected joint
- Warmth in the joint
- Limited range of motion in the joint
- The pain typically starts during the night and peaks in the early hours of the morning
Consuming a diet high in purine-rich foods like red meat, shellfish, organ meats, and sugary drinks increases the likelihood of developing gout.
Being overweight or obese can lead to increased production and decreased excretion of uric acid.
3. Medical conditions
Certain health conditions such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome can contribute to gout.
Some medications, like diuretics, can interfere with uric acid excretion and potentially lead to gout.
5. Alcohol consumption
Alcohol, particularly beer, is known to increase uric acid production and impair its elimination.
Gout is a common form of arthritis caused by the accumulation of urate crystals in the joints. While there is no cure for gout, there are several treatment options available that can help manage the symptoms and prevent future flare-ups. These treatment options often include medication that must be prescribed by a doctor. Additionally, certain lifestyle changes and preventive measures can help reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is associated with higher urate levels, so losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the frequency of gout attacks.
2. Limit alcohol
Alcohol consumption, particularly beer, has been linked to an increased risk of gout. It is advisable to limit alcohol intake or avoid it altogether.
3. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out excess uric acid from the body.
4. Limit purine-rich foods
Foods high in purines, such as red meat, seafood, organ meats, and sugary drinks, can increase uric acid levels. Moderation is key, and it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for specific dietary recommendations.
5. Choose low-fat dairy products
Low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk and yogurt, have been associated with a lower risk of gout attacks.
6. Avoid or limit high-fructose corn syrup
High-fructose corn syrup, commonly found in sugary beverages and processed foods, may increase the risk of gout. Opt for natural sweeteners instead.
Remember, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan for gout. They can provide appropriate guidance and medication recommendations based on individual needs and medical history.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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