What is Gout?

Not a lot of people are aware that gout is a type of arthritis. This can develop when there is a lot of uric acid in the joints and it can be a painful condition. Indeed, one of the first symptoms can be feeling intense pain in your joints. Gout is known to affect the elbows, knees, wrists and ankles. In addition, some people experience gout in the fingers and big toe.

What Can Cause Gout?

If you have a high level of uric acid, you could be at risk of developing gout. Uric acids are something that is naturally created in the body and it has the job of breaking down purines. Purines are in a lot of the food we eat. For example, you will find purines in seafood and steak. It is even found in alcoholic beverages. Indeed, when you have higher levels of purines in your system, you are also going to have more uric acid. The urate crystals that build up will be present on the tissues near the joints. This is what can cause gout.

What are the Symptoms of Gout?

There are some common symptoms that people suffer from when they have gout. Namely, you can suffer from joint pain. This can be intense and it can be concentrated in the big toe. In particular, patients with gout will be very uncomfortable for the first four to 12 hours. After this time, you can still suffer from joint discomfort for a number of days and even weeks.

Other symptoms you may experience include inflammation and swelling. This can include looking red and feeling warm when you touch it. As gout progresses, this can restrict your movement.

What is the Treatment for Gout?

If you think that you have gout, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to prescribe you medication. This is going to help to reduce any swelling and inflammation that you have. They can also offer you advice on how you can prevent having another gout attack.

How Can I Prevent Gout?

There are some simple things you can do to prevent gout in the future. Most of them centre around living a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. For example, you should try to eat purine-rich foods on a regular basis. It is also recommended that you avoid drinking too much alcohol. There is research to suggest that dairy products can reduce the risk of gout too.