What is it?
Gout is a disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet.
Facts about Gout
- Anyone can be at risk for gout, but gout is rarely seen in men before their 20's and rarely seen in women before 40's
- Elevated uric acid levels do not necessarily mean that a person has gout
- Many drugs can cause a gout attack including thiazide diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide), low dose aspirin, and some antibiotics.
- Besides causing arthritis (gouty arthritis), gout can damage the kidneys if left unchecked
Symptoms of Gout
- Pain in the feet, toes, joints, ankle and knees.
- Typically the joints are red, swollen and very painful.
Treatment and at Home Lifestyle
Medications and/or injections are often the most effective way to treat acute gout and can prevent recurrent attacks of gout.
However, asking certain lifestyle changes also are important such as:
- Limiting alcoholic beverages and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose). Instead, drink plenty of water.
- Limiting intake of foods high in purines, such as red meat and seafood.
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Keeping your body at a healthy weight reduces your risk of gout.