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Specialized Gout Care

What Is Gout

The term “inflammatory arthritis” encompasses a number of conditions, the most common of which is gout. If you’ve ever experienced a gout attack, it’s not something you are likely to forget. Gout is characterized by debilitating joint pain, most often in the big toe, but it can also occur in other joints like the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, or fingers.

Gout is characterized by sudden, severe joint pain, often referred to as a gout attack or flare. It starts quickly and is usually accompanied by tenderness, warmth, swelling, and a red or purple discoloration of the skin around the joint. These flares occur most often in the evenings, frequently without warning, and can last for a week or two.

What Causes Gout?

Several contributing factors determine whether an individual is predisposed to developing gout. The leading cause of gout is the buildup of excessive uric acid in the body, generally related to diet. Items like candy, red meat, organ meats, some seafood, alcohol, and sodas have chemicals called purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. Uric acid is then filtered through the kidneys and eliminated through urine. If there is an excess of uric acid and the kidneys cannot eliminate it quickly enough, uric acid crystals can build up in your joints and may trigger a gout attack.

Understanding Gout Risk Factors

Risk factors for developing gout include obesity, heart issues, high blood pressure, age, sex, and genetics. More men than women are predisposed to gout, with men developing the condition 3-4 times more often than women, regardless of age. It is most often seen in older adults and rarely in youths. If gout runs in the family, especially among a first-degree relative like a parent or sibling, there is a higher chance for an individual to develop it.

If left untreated, gout can progress and cause permanent damage to the kidneys and joints. When diagnosed and treated properly, the condition can often be managed successfully by modifications to diet and medication to reduce uric acid levels. Gout is a highly inflammatory condition, so reducing inflammatory triggers can be incredibly helpful for your overall health and the management of arthritis in general.

Treatment For Gout

If you suspect you may have gout, seeing a rheumatologist is key. Rheumatologists specialize in all things inflammatory and autoimmune, including gout. By immediately addressing the issue with medication and lifestyle changes, you significantly reduce your risk factors for further issues. Not only that, but you will also head off any permanent damage to your body. A rheumatologist can perform more thorough and targeted testing than your PCP, and their depth of knowledge and familiarity with the condition keeps them at the top of new treatment options.

Schedule an Appointment

If you experience sudden joint pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the absence of trauma, you may have gout. Call (855) FVORTHO l (855) 386-7846 to schedule an appointment. A referral is not needed unless required by insurance.