Gout is a prevalent form of arthritis, and over 3 million cases of it are reported each year in the United States.
Some people are more likely to develop gout as a product of their biological or lifestyle predispositions. Here are a few situations that make people more prone to develop gout:
- People who have high blood pressure or have had high blood pressure in the past
- People who are overweight or have been overweight in the past
- Women who have recently passed menopause
- Men between the ages of 30 and 50
If you fall into any of these categories, it is much more important for you to take steps to reduce the risk of gout before it sets on. Prevention is proven to be one of the most effective ways of reducing symptoms.
Symptoms of Gout
It is necessary to be able to recognize the symptoms of gout and to consult with your doctor about solutions if you develop it. Here are a few of the most common symptoms:
- Severe pain and redness in the joints
- Joint swelling and inflammation
- The pain usually starts in the big toe and moves up from the toe throughout joints
- Causes tenderness in and near joints
These are a few of the most common symptoms but are not the only symptoms. The symptoms have a considerable overlap with symptoms of arthritis, as gout is a type of arthritis. It occurs when a person has too much uric acid in their blood, which then turns to sharp crystal-like structures in their joints.
Gout can be excruciating and can impede your mobility and take the joy out of so many everyday events. It can make it challenging to be active and even accomplish daily chores and simple tasks. Here are a few ways to reduce your risk of developing gout:
- Drinking more coffee, even if it is decaffeinated coffee, can help reduce the amount of uric acid present in your blood, and thus diminish the risk of gout attacks.
- Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar, like soda and candy, as they can quickly raise uric acid levels.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight for your height. This can be done through a combination of healthy eating and exercise. There is a much higher risk of developing gout for those who are overweight.
- Be conscious of your diet. Eat complex carbohydrates, foods that are rich in potassium, and make sure that you are staying hydrated.
- If you are struggling to get enough vitamin C in your diet, consider taking vitamin C supplements.
Gout can cause a great deal of pain. It is not just a one time issue but is a recurring issue with symptoms that can flare up at the drop of a hat. There are not many ways to treat gout besides taking arthritis medication, but there are ways to reduce your risk of experiencing more flare-ups.For more information on diminishing the risk of gout attacks, go to ColumbiaDoctors.org or Healio.com.