Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. Gout can cause sudden attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and stiff ness. This is usually in one joint and most commonly in the great toe.

Gout usually occurs without a known cause; but it can be brought on by drinking alcohol, especially beer or eating seafood and red meat. There are certain medications, such as diuretics or aspirin, which can bring on a gout attack.

Your doctor can prescribe you a daily medication to help reduce the amount of sudden onsets of gout attacks. The doctor can also give you an injection into the joint to help eliminate the buildup of crystals.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If the joint is swollen, put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10-20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Prop up the sore limb on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Rest sore joints. Avoid activities that put weight or strain on the joints for a few days. Take short rest breaks from your regular activities during the day.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking prescription pain medicines, ask your doctor if you can take an over the counter medicine.
  • Eat less seafood and red meat.
  • Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol
  • Losing weight, if you are overweight may help reduce attacks of gout. But do not go on crash diet. Losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time can cause a gout attack.You may be able to help control the amount of uric acid in your body by limiting high purine foods. Purines are substances that are found in some foods. Your body naturally turns purines into uric acid. If you eat food with high levels of purines it can lead to a gout attack.
  • Plan your diet around foods that are low in purines and are safe for you to eat. These include
    • Green vegetables and tomatoes.
    • Fruits and fruit juices.
    • Bread, rice, and cereals that are not whole-grain.
    • Chocolate and cocoa.
    • Coffee, tea and carbonated beverages.
    • Peanut butter and nuts.
    • Cheese, milk, milk products, and eggs.
    • Fats and oils in moderation.
    • Popcorn
    • Vinegar, olives, pickles, and relishes.
    • Gelatin desserts.
    • Cakes, cookies, and sweets, in moderation.
  • You can eat certain foods that are medium-high in purines, but eat them only once in a while. These include:
    • Asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, and green peas.
    • Fish and seafood (other than very high-purine seafood).
    • Oatmeal, wheat bran, and wheat germ.
  • Limit very high-purine foods including:
    • Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains.
    • Meats, including bacon, beef, pork and lamb.
    • Game meats and any other meats in large amounts.
    • Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops.
    • Gravy.
    • Legumes, such as dried beans and dried peas.
    • Beer.

If you feel that you are having a gout attack or would like more information about gout please contact us today!

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