Gout, a type of arthritis, develops when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. The acid crystallizes in your joints, causing extreme pain and tenderness. It’s often accompanied by redness, swelling, and a feeling of warmth to the touch.
You won’t know you have gout until an attack occurs, which usually strikes at night and grows in intensity over the next day. The bout typically lasts from 2-10 days. Some 60% of people who experience a gout attack have another within the year, and 84% have an attack within 3 years.
Gone unmanaged, gout turns chronic with more frequent attacks and possible disability due to joint damage.
Gout never goes away completely, but you can revise your diet and lifestyle habits to minimize the production of uric acid that causes an attack. Dr. Pastorek works with you to develop a customized plan that prevents long-term joint damage and frequent attacks. Pure Medicine also helps with certain medications that reduce the acute inflammation and uric acid levels to minimize discomfort.
A diet high in red meat and shellfish may make you more susceptible to gout. Drinking more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks per day or heavy soda consumption also puts you at risk of developing the condition. You’ll want to control your weight, as obesity puts you at higher risk of developing the disease.
Gout affects approximately 6 million Americans — 4 million are men — according to the Arthritis Foundation. If gout runs in your family or you have high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease, you’re at an increased risk of developing the condition. Certain medications, such as diuretic medications, can also increase uric acid levels, leading to gout. The condition is more likely to strike when you’re over age 60, and especially in those that have undergone gastric bypass.
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