Board-Certified Rheumatologists located in Windcrest, TX
More than 8 million Americans have gout. That's about one in 50 people. Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis that affects both men and women. But having it doesn't mean you can't enjoy life. Gout is very manageable, and the team at Rheumatology Solutions, located in San Antonio, Texas, can help you modify your lifestyle habits to combat symptoms of gout. If you are in pain from this type of arthritis, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Gout Q & A
What is gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that affects one or more joints at a time and is very painful. It often flares up suddenly and causes a lot of pain before disappearing for a while. However, if it isn't treated, the flare-ups become more frequent and painful over time.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. The body makes uric acid during the digestive process, but if there's too much, it forms into needle-like crystals in your joints. This results in intense and stabbing pain when you move the affected joints.
If gout isn't treated, over time, the crystals form lumps under your skin, called tophi. Crystals that build up in the urinary tract can also result in kidney stones.
What are the symptoms of gout?
Gout is often found in the toes, ankles, and knees. Symptoms in these affected areas include:
- Intense pain, usually in the middle of the night or early in the morning
- Stiffness and decreased range of movement in the joint
- Tenderness and swelling in the joint, which might also be warm to touch
There is no known cure for gout, but the team at Rheumatology Solutions can help treat and manage the condition.
What causes gout?
You are at a higher risk of getting gout if you:
- Are male
- Are overweight
- Eat foods that are high in purines, like red meat, certain seafood, and beer (these are the foods your body breaks down into uric acid)
- Drink too much alcohol
- Use certain medications, like diuretics
- Have certain health issues, such as poor kidney function, diabetes, and hypertension
Talk to your physician to get a complete list of medications that can cause attacks and to learn about other risk factors.
What are the treatments for gout?
Gout is treated mainly through medication. Based on your health, your physician prescribes medication to treat current attacks and prevent future attacks.
Some types of medication effective against gout are:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Allopurinol or Uloric
- Krystexxa infusions
Your provider can discuss the best treatment and medication options for you.
If you have a gout attack and are in extreme pain, call Rheumatology Solutions as soon as you can; until you can come to the office, ice and elevate the joint and take an over-the-counter inflammatory like ibuprofen.
What can I do to prevent gout?
By making some small dietary and lifestyle changes, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing gout or better control it. These changes include:
- Eating a balanced diet with reduced protein foods that are high in purines
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding alcohol, especially beer
- Eating less meat, especially organ meat
- Taking prescription medication as directed to reduce inflammation and pain during an attack and to lower uric acid in order to prevent future attacks and joint damage.
To learn more, call Rheumatology Solutions or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.
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