How To Prevent Gout Attack
by Dr. Steven Waldman
GOUT GOT YOU DOWN?
Are you male? Are you at least 35 years old? Do you like a few beers and a nice steak for dinner? Though this may sound like the average dating profile, if you answered yes to these questions you are at a greater risk of having gout, which may limit those long walks on the beach!
Gout is a form of arthritis that can really keep you off your feet. It traditionally affects older males, however women can get gout too, especially if they are post menopausal. Gout almost always affects the big toe (the hallux) first. In its more developed forms, gout can spread to and affect other areas of the foot, including the ankle.
How do you know you are having a gout attack? A gout attack usually shows up first thing in the morning. You may wake up with abnormal swelling around your big toe, or it may be very painful to walk. This pain can even progress to extreme sensitivity to the touch in the swollen area. Be aware, gout attacks come on fast! The maximum extent of inflammation can arise in less then 24 hours!
Gout is associated with hyperuricemia, or high uric acid. Uric acid, which is normally excreted from the body via the kidneys, is produced from the breakdown of purines, a compound regularly found in a meat diet. In the majority of cases (about 90%), this hyperuricemia is due to an inability of the body to excrete the appropriate amount of uric acid from the blood stream. When a person’s body has an inability to excrete uric acid, many things can cause a gouty attack. These flare ups may come from something as simple as having a dinner high in salt and processed foods. An alcohol binge or dehydration can cause an attack. Even local trauma like stubbing your toe may cause gouty inflammation to occur.
Unfortunately, there is no instant cure for gout. However, flare ups can be treated, and there are many precautions that can be taken to avoid them. For a flare up, your doctor may prescribe specific anti-inflammatory medications or use steroid injections that have been proven to relieve an attack. These treatments may help with the current attack, but given how quick an attack can arise, you may want to take more preventative measures. How can you prevent gout? Remember to watch your diet. Some people have a specific food that causes their flare ups… cut back on it! Try recipes that are recommended for those with gout. Also, watching your alcohol intake may help prevent future flare ups. Yet sometimes all the prevention in the world cannot keep a gouty attack from happening. If you find yourself longing for a long, painless, walk on the beach, give us a call today!
From heel pain to gout, our Milwaukee, WI, New Berlin, WI, Wauwatosa, WI, Mequon, WI and Oak Creek, WI Podiatrists offer exceptional care with extraordinary results.
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We look forward to helping you!