In centuries past, gout was termed “the disease of kings” because the condition was believed to be caused by overeating and indulging in alcohol excessively. Scientists later learned, however, that gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that typically affects just one joint.
The big toe joint is frequently targeted by gout, for example, but it commonly occurs in the elbow, knee, and wrist joints as well.
You can go through asymptomatic periods of remission from gout, but when you have a flare, the pain can be excruciating. Though gout has no cure, there are treatments that mitigate pain and discomfort, as well as steps you can take to manage the condition.
As an internal medicine expert, Dr. Gurprit Sekhon and the team at Nu Wave Medical Center offer individualized and innovative treatment for gout. She seeks to be your partner in care and offers medical advice and treatment plans with sensitivity.
What are the causes of gout?
It’s understandable to have “Why me?” feelings if you have a gout attack, but what’s going on exactly? Technically, you’re suffering from hyperuricemia, which means there’s too much uric acid in your body. The purpose of uric acid is to break down purines, which are present in some foods.
Purines are chemical compounds that occur naturally in your body and also are present in food in varying amounts. When you ingest excessive amounts of purines in your food, a surplus of uric acid develops in your body. As uric acid sits in your body, it can crystallize and lead to gout, which is why lowering your consumption of high-purine foods can help with minimizing symptoms.
What are the symptoms of gout?
As we mentioned, gout discomfort can be debilitating and cause these symptoms in your affected joint:
- Severe pain
- Extreme sensitivity
- Bad joint swelling
- Redness and a hot feeling in the affected area
- Significantly reduced ability to move your affected joint
Unfortunately, it’s also typical for gout pain to come on at night while you’re sleeping, and the pain of a gout flare usually lasts for a long 12 hours.
What raises my risk for gout?
A variety of factors make you more likely to suffer from gout:
- Being obese
- Living with health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and low-functioning kidneys
- Engaging in excessive alcohol consumption
- Being male
- Consuming high-fructose (the sugar found in fruit) foods and beverages
- Taking diuretics, low-dose aspirin, and certain high blood pressure medications
- Eating a high-purine diet
- Having a family history of gout
As you can see, you can control some of these risk factors, while others you can’t. Dr. Sekhon helps you manage the risk factors that you have the power to alter as a preventive strategy for gout.
How can my gout be treated?
Dr. Sekhon treats gout by taking your detailed medical history, talking to you about your gout symptoms, and setting goals together to rid you of gout and prevent it from returning.
Fortunately, Dr. Sekhon has multiple treatments available to her to treat your gout. They include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Prescription medications that lower uric acid production or help you eliminate uric acid from your body
- Lifestyle changes like medical weight loss, and lowering consumption of high-purine foods like certain seafood, red meat, and organ meat
- Eliminating diuretics
- Limiting alcohol, especially beer
- Physical therapy referral
Dr. Sekhon is committed to helping you treat your gout and preventing a flare before it starts!
Call the Nu Wave Medical Center office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sekhon, or book one online.