Inform Yourself: Gout
What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation within the joints.
What causes gout?
High levels of uric acid in your blood can cause crystals to form in the joints. These crystals are needle-like and will often cause intense pain.
Signs to Look For
If you experience severe pain that comes with tenderness, warmth, and redness to the area, then that is a sign that you are having a gout flare-up.
Who Gets Gout?
Many people in the United States suffer from gout. About 6 million men and 2 million women will experience gout-like symptoms and will have to learn how to keep it under control. Women are not as prone to gout because the usual age of occurrence is 60 and by that time a woman’s estrogen levels are able to protect her from developing the disease
Monitoring your diet is a vital part of gout maintenance. Any food that contains purine should be limited. Please keep in mind that some foods may affect you more than others and you should keep track of which foods are causing the flare-ups. Here are a few foods and beverages that have high levels of purine and which you should consider when you are preparing your meals or ordering your food:
- Diuretic medications
- Red meats (Beef, pork, lamb, bacon)
- Certain Seafood (Anchovies, Sardines, Herring, Mackerel)
As always, speak to your doctor about ways to prevent a flare-up if you do suffer from gout. Knowing what triggers it may help you keep the pain at bay. Also, don’t take any medications until you speak with a medical professional. Gout doesn’t have to stand in your way to living a normal life.