CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT OF GOUT
posted: Jul 20, 2018.
What is Gout?
Obesity, excessive weight gain, especially in youth, moderate to heavy alcohol intake, high blood pressure, and abnormal kidney function are among the risk factors for developing gout. Certain drugs and diseases can also cause elevated levels of uric acid. Also, there is an increased prevalence of abnormally low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) in patients with gout.
The joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site of an acute gout attack. These attacks can recur unless gout is treated. See your doctor even if the pain from gout is gone. Over time, they can harm joints, tendons, and other tissues.
Maintaining adequate fluid intake helps prevent acute gout attacks and decreases the risk of kidney stone formation in people with gout. Alcohol is known to have diuretic effects that can contribute to dehydration and precipitate acute gout attacks. Alcohol can also affect uric acid metabolism and cause hyperuricemia. It causes gout by slowing down the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys as well as by causing dehydration, which precipitates the crystals in the joints.
Certain medications reduce the pain and inflammation of gout attacks, such as anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen and naproxen), colchicine, and corticosteroids. Other medications decrease the level of uric acid in the blood and prevent the deposit of uric acid in joints (gouty arthritis), the kidneys (stones), and in tissue (tophi), helping to prevent further attacks and complications. These drugs include allopurinol, febuxostat, lesinurad, and probenicid.
If you or a loved one believe that you are having a gout attack, contact a chiropodist for advice and to have your feet checked today!
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotics Clinic.