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Can My Gout Be Cured?

Can My Gout Be Cured?

Most people haven’t heard of gout until they’ve been faced with it. Gout affects more than 8.3 million people and is on the rise due to increasing levels of obesity. The poor eating habits linked to obesity can raise your body’s uric acid levels, leading to gout.

Gout, a common yet complex kind of arthritis, often occurs in the big toe joints and causes a great deal of pain. Does walking hurt? Are you becoming bedridden from your gout? 

While gout isn’t curable, luckily, it’s treatable. At Nexclin Medicine, with three locations in Georgia, we provide gout treatments so you can live comfortably again. 

Why it happens

Your joints have an important job. As the connectors of two or more bones, your joints bring flexibility to your skeleton. When you move joints like your knees, elbows, and wrists, the cushioning cartilage prevents the bones from rubbing against each other.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, happens after years of wear-and-tear on the joints, where the cartilage starts to degrade, causing the characteristic inflammation. Gout is a type of arthritis and leads to inflammation, but it occurs quite differently.

Gout is caused by an influx of uric acid, a waste product found in your blood. While some uric acid in your blood is normal, too much of it can cause crystals to build up in your joints and tissues, leading to gout.

Gout symptoms

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between gout and other problems of the toe or foot. Gout attacks are painful and happen suddenly. Many people find they occur overnight and generally last for a week or two. 

Gout usually occurs in one joint at a time. Here are some other signs and symptoms:

While gout is most common in the big toe joint, it can also occur in the ankles, wrists, knees, elbows, and fingers.

Diagnosing gout

You might have gout if you have one or more of the symptoms listed above. The only way to know for sure is by undergoing an evaluation with Naima Cheema, MD or your primary care physician. 

Dr. Cheema helps diagnose gout by first talking about your symptoms. She examines the affected area and looks for swelling, warmth, and redness. Dr. Cheema may also order blood work, an imaging test, or aspiration to confirm if you have gout or another condition.

Treatment

Finding out you have gout is news no one wants to hear. However, the sooner you have a diagnosis, the sooner you can start on treatment. Most of our patients with gout find one or a combination of these treatments beneficial. 

Medication

Medication is one of the first lines of treatment to help manage gout pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil and Aleve, may help keep you comfortable during an attack. If you don’t experience relief, Dr. Cheema may prescribe a stronger drug like Colchicine or corticosteroids. 

Dr. Cheema may also prescribe a medication to help avoid gout-related complications in people who experience several gout attacks a year or particularly painful episodes.

Consume healthy beverages 

Limiting alcoholic drinks and beverages with high-fructose corn syrup can help prevent flare-ups. Make sure to drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day on normal days and double that during a gout episode.

Avoid foods with high levels of purines

Stay away from foods that have high levels of purines. These foods include red meats, organ meats like liver, anchovies, sardines, tuna, trout, and mussels.

Exercise regularly

Exercising can help lower uric acid levels and prevent future gout attacks. When you’re at a healthy weight, you also prevent the risk of getting gout again. Try activities that are classified as “low impact,” such as walking, swimming, and biking — these put less pressure on your joints.

Gout is a very common and manageable condition. Don’t let it stop you from living your life. Call 770-558-2873 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cheema, or book online.

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