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How to Prevent and Treat Gout: A Comprehensive Guide…

    Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation and pain in the joints due to the buildup of uric acid crystals. Uric acid is a waste product that is normally excreted by the kidneys, but sometimes it can accumulate in the blood and form sharp crystals that irritate the joint tissues. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints such as the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. Gout can cause sudden attacks of severe pain, swelling, redness and stiffness in the affected joints, often at night. Gout can be triggered by certain foods, drinks, medications, or other factors that increase the level of uric acid in the blood.

GOUT Treatment at Samobathi Pain Clinic

How is gout diagnosed?

Gout can be diagnosed by a physical examination, blood tests, joint fluid analysis, or imaging tests. The treatment of gout aims to relieve the symptoms of acute attacks and prevent future flares and complications.

How can gout be treated?

The treatment options include:

  • NSAIDs  - To ease the pain and swelling of gout, you can take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, or celecoxib.

  • Colchicine  - To stop gout attacks, you can use colchicine, which blocks the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints.

  • Corticosteroids  - To reduce the inflammation and pain of gout, you can also take corticosteroids such as prednisone.

  • Xanthine oxidase inhibitors To lower the amount of uric acid in your blood and prevent gout flares, you can use xanthine oxidase inhibitors such as allopurinol, febuxostat, or pegloticase.

How can gout be prevented?  

Gout can be prevented by making some lifestyle changes such as:

  • Drinking plenty of water and avoiding sweetened drinks.

  • Avoiding alcohol consumption, especially beer.

  • Consuming low-fat dairy products and plant oils.

  • Limiting the intake of meat, seafood, and organ meats that are high in purines.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

  • Taking vitamin C supplements and coffee, which may lower the uric acid level.

Foods to be avoided in Gout:

Some foods that should be avoided for gout are:

  • Meat, especially red meat, organ meats, and processed meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, and hot dogs. These foods are high in purines, which are substances that break down into uric acid in the body. Meat can also increase the risk of gout by raising the level of iron, which may interfere with the excretion of uric acid.

  • Seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna, scallops, shrimp, lobster, and crab. These foods are also rich in purines and can trigger gout attacks. However, some studies suggest that moderate consumption of seafood may not increase the risk of gout as much as meat, and may even have some benefits for cardiovascular health. Therefore, some experts recommend limiting seafood intake to no more than two servings per week for people with gout.

  • Alcohol, especially beer and liquor. Alcohol can increase the production and decrease the excretion of uric acid, leading to higher levels in the blood. Beer is particularly bad for gout because it also contains purines and may interfere with the action of some gout medications. Liquor can also worsen gout by increasing the intake of fructose, which can stimulate uric acid synthesis. Wine may have a lower impact on gout than beer or liquor, but it should still be consumed in moderation.

  • Sugary drinks, such as soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, and energy drinks. These drinks are high in fructose, which can increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Fructose can also cause insulin resistance, which may impair the kidney’s ability to excrete uric acid. Some studies have found that drinking more than one sugary drink per day can increase the risk of gout by 74%.

  • Foods high in sodium, such as canned foods, processed foods, fast foods, salty snacks, and sauces. Sodium can increase the retention of water and uric acid in the body, leading to higher blood pressure and gout flares. Sodium can also reduce the effectiveness of some gout medications, such as allopurinol. Therefore, people with gout should limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day, or 1,500 mg per day if they have high blood pressure.

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