There are few things worse than experiencing intense pain in your big toe, ankle, or knee. But it's usually an indicator that you have gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis that impacts over eight million people.
Gout can attack any number of joints, including your fingers, wrists, and elbows. In addition to pain, your joints can become inflamed, red, and hot.
Treatment for gout is important, but so is preventing the condition in the first place. Dr. Gurprit Sekhon’s evidence-based treatment approach can help reduce your chances of enduring gout pain.
Dr. Sekhon and everyone here at Nu Wave Medical Center is dedicated to getting your gout under control, and partnering with you to prevent future attacks.
What is gout?
You experience an attack of gout when you develop high levels of uric acid. Uric acid is a waste product everyone produces as their bodies break down purines, which are substances present in many foods, including mushrooms, dried beans, and certain fish.
Your kidneys usually do a good job of clearing the uric acid out of your blood, and you eliminate it via urination. If your levels of uric acid build-up and get abnormally high, it collects in your body, and the excess uric acid is converted to urate crystals. These sharp, pin-like crystals build up around your joints and this is what leads to gout.
Risk factors for gout
Many people with a family history of gout have the condition, but other risk factors include:
- Being obese
- Being male
- Living with certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating a purine-rich diet
Foods high in purines include, organ meats, bacon, veal, and certain types of seafood.
I’ve been diagnosed with gout, now what?
If you've been diagnosed with gout, there are self-care practices you can adopt to ease your pain and discomfort. For example, losing weight and enjoying gentle-on-your-joints exercises. But one of the most critical factors in keeping your gout at bay is adjusting your diet.
An anti-gout diet logically excludes the foods we mentioned earlier that trigger the overproduction of uric acid. Here are the foods you should try to incorporate into your diet:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Non or low-fat dairy products
- Fish and red meat in moderation, except for the high-purine varieties
- Carbohydrates like pasta, bread, and rice
- Peanut butter
It’s also important to cut down on drinking beer, wine, and sugary beverages.
If you struggle with your weight, Dr. Sekhon can help by leading you through her medically sound and practical weight loss program.
An expansive approach to treating gout
Depending on your particular circumstances, Dr. Sekhon might prescribe over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or prescription medication. She may also suggest a course of physical therapy.
If you have a condition that can exacerbate your gout, like diabetes, Dr. Sekhon will treat and help manage your entire health profile so you can feel your best.
Repeated gout attacks can do permanent damage to your affected joints. The sooner you make those lifestyle changes, the better.
Get rid of gout for good
Do you want to avoid a gout attack? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sekhon. Call our office at 850-666-4726 or visit our website.