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What Should I Know About Gout?

Did you know? Experts estimate that nearly 4% of the U.S. population currently deals with gout, an inflammatory and painful form of arthritis.

Our AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock team provides some further helpful information on this increasingly common condition below, so read on!

What Is Gout?

Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in one or more joints, most often in the big toe.

Gout is most often caused by having an excess amount of uric acid in the bloodstream, which is medically known as Hyperuricemia. The body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in your body and the foods you eat. When there is too much uric acid in the body, uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) can build up in joints, causing a painful gout attack.

Common Gout Symptoms

  • Intense joint pain
  • Lingering discomfort
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Limited motion

Is Gout Treatable?

Gout is something that many people deal with for the long haul, but there are ways you can lessen the pain and severity of gout attacks, or “flare-ups.”

If you’re experiencing a gout flare-up, experts suggest taking some OTC anti-inflammatory pills like ibuprofen to help with the swelling and pain. Avoid aspirin, though, as it can actually raise the level of uric acid in the bloodstream. We’ve listed some effective prevention tactics below.

Ways to Prevent Gout Flares

  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Lose excess weight or maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Avoid purine-rich foods and drinks that can trigger a gout flare-up, such as red meat, sugary drinks and seafood.

Have further questions about gout? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock team today!