What is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes pain in your joints. Gout-related joint pain is due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the tissues of your joints, which can cause inflammation, swelling, and severe pain.

Uric acid develops naturally in the body, as a byproduct of the breakdown of foods containing purines, which are proteins commonly found in organ meats and alcohol. When excessive uric acid accumulates in your bloodstream, it can collect in and around the tissues of your joints, causing your symptoms.

Gout is a chronic condition that usually cycles between no symptoms and significant pain. For most people, limiting foods high in purines can prevent flare-ups of the disease.

What are the symptoms of gout?

Gout most often affects one joint at a time, usually the big toe. It can affect your other toes, knees, and ankles, as well. Symptoms of gout include:

Significant pain
Burning sensation
Tenderness to touch

Often, gout flare-ups are severe and come on suddenly. Once treatment begins and symptoms resolve, you may not have any pain for days, months, or years.

Who is at risk for gout?

Men who have diets high in purines are at highest risk of having gout. Other risk factors include:

High blood pressure
Metabolic conditions
Kidney disease
Heart disease and heart failure
Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
A diet high in alcohol or sugar

Some medications, like diuretics, can increase your risk of getting gout. If you are on medications that place you at higher risk for gout, we may recommend dietary changes or prescribe medications that help prevent recurrences of gout.

What are some treatments for gout?

Melrose Park Immediate Care may recommend a treatment plan that includes:

Limiting foods high in purine
Restricting your intake of alcohol
Taking medications for pain
Losing weight
Dietary and nutritional counseling

With proper support, you can have some control over the frequency and severity of your gout symptoms. 

For prevention and treatment of your gout symptoms, call or schedule an appointment online with Melrose Park Immediate Care today.