Gout is a form of arthritis that affects people with higher than normal levels of uric acid in their blood.
The excess acid forms sharp crystals in the joints. While gout can develop in any joint, it's most common in the big toe joint and other foot and ankle joints.
Gout can be chronic or occur in flare-ups or attacks. Attacks or flare-ups could be linked to nights of heavy drinking, eating a poor diet for several days, or anything that could cause your uric acid levels to rise. Chronic gout develops over time and can lead to serious joint damage.
Gout also correlates with other severe health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease.
The primary symptoms of gout are excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe joint. Your first gout flare-up typically occurs after an injury or illness.
Gout typically affects one joint at a time, but if left untreated, it can spread to other joints. Also, if left untreated and improperly managed, you have to live with chronic low-grade inflammation, which can lead to joint damage and other complications.
While gout may seem to occur out of nowhere, it typically develops at the tail end of another issue that increases the levels of uric acid in your blood.
For example, injury, infection, illness, and certain medications can affect your body’s ability to manage uric acid levels. Specific risk factors also contribute to your chances of developing the condition, including:
Dr. Rajan treats gout in two ways: managing your uric acid levels and relieving an attack.
Dr. Rajan manages uric acid levels with lifestyle changes (i.e., modifications to your diet and lose weight). These include avoiding red meat, alcohol, sugary sodas, and shellfish and consuming more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and low-fat milk products. You should also drink plenty of water.
When you have a gout attack, you can start treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs at home. Dr. Rajan can prescribe stronger anti-inflammatories and analgesics to get you through the attack.
It’s critical to take steps to control your gout at all times. Even if you’re not having a flare-up, you may still have low-grade inflammation in your joints, causing long-term damage.
If you need help managing your gout, contact Dr. Rajan today by calling the practice or booking online.