The intense pain and swelling of a gout flare-up are enough to make anyone work to prevent another if at all possible. As it turns out, several strategies can help you manage your condition and experience fewer flares.
The experts at Rheumatology Solutions can help you develop a plan to manage your gout. We create a treatment plan for you based on your individual circumstances and factors like your family history, the number of flares you’ve had, your bloodwork, and many others. There’s no cure for gout, but you can make changes that will lead to far fewer painful attacks.
In this post, we present five strategies to prevent gout flare-ups. Your doctor may suggest some combination of these or additional prevention techniques based on your situation.
The most frequently given piece of advice for preventing gout is likely to make changes in your diet. It’s always a good idea to consider nutrition and to make efforts to improve your diet. However, diet may not play as big a role in gout as previously thought.
With that in mind, there are some important adjustments you can make when it comes to nutrition:
Some medications are known to trigger gout. Diuretics, for example, can lead to flare-ups. Talking to your doctor about your medications and perhaps taking a different approach to treating some conditions may be helpful.
Just as there are medications that make it more likely you’ll experience an attack, there are medications that can help you excrete excess uric acid so that it doesn’t build up in your blood and cause a painful flare. Not every patient with gout should have urate-lowering therapy, but in some cases, it’s appropriate.
As always, your doctor at Rheumatology Solutions bases recommendations on your specific situation. If you have chronic kidney disease, or a history of having two or more flares per year, your doctor may suggest therapy to lower the amount of urate in your blood.
Being overweight increases the chance you’ll have more flares. Following a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar may help. Of course it’s much easier to say “lose some weight” than it is to actually lower the number on the scale. Discuss any issues you’re having with your doctor.
Physical activity can both help you lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, and offers some protection for your joints. When the muscles that support your joints are stronger, you’re less likely to experience an injury that could worsen arthritis symptoms.
Many programs exist to help people with arthritis learn to exercise in a safe and effective way. The CDC has a list of programs that you may find useful, and our experts can advise you regarding local options.
Schedule an appointment today at Rheumatology Solutions to get advice on preventing gout tailored to your personal situation. Self-management is a crucial part of an effective plan for preventing gout attacks.