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Will I Always Have Gout?

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that most often affects your big toe, but it can affect other joints, including your ankle, knees, or even other toe joints

Gout flare-ups 一 often referred to as gout attacks 一 cause sudden and intense pain, swelling, and redness. They’re notoriously painful, so if you've been diagnosed with this condition, you might wonder: Will I always have gout? 

Here at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, in Midtown and Downtown New York, our team of board-certified podiatrists knows just how debilitating a gout attack can be. Thankfully, it’s also something we regularly diagnose and treat, so if you’re struggling with gout, don't hesitate to reach out. 

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about gout.

Will you always have gout?

Unfortunately, gout is a chronic condition, and while it can be effectively managed, it doesn’t necessarily go away forever. It can flare up from time to time. However, with proper treatment and lifestyle modifications, many people with gout can experience significant relief from symptoms and a reduction in the frequency and severity of flare-ups. 

The right treatment plan can help you go months or even years between gout attacks, especially if your blood uric level is lower than 6 mg/dL. The question then shifts from “Will I always have gout?” to "How do I prevent gout attacks?” 

What causes gout flare-ups?

Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric crystals in your joints. The uric crystals are sharp and cause inflammation and intense pain. Several factors contribute to the likelihood and frequency of gout flare-ups:

Dietary factors

Certain foods and beverages high in purines, such as red meat, organ meats, seafood, and alcohol, can trigger gout attacks. Avoid dietary triggers and stay hydrated to help manage your uric acid levels. 

The reverse is also true. Adding certain foods to your diet can help combat uric acid levels. Oranges, cherries, grapefruit, pineapple, and strawberries can help reduce inflammation and uric acid crystals thanks to their high vitamin C content.

Weight management 

Excess body weight can contribute to higher uric acid levels, so if you’re overweight and have gout, you’re more likely to have a flare-up. Regular exercise and a balanced diet contribute to overall fitness and may help prevent gout attacks.

Underlying health conditions

Certain health conditions, such as hypertension, prediabetes, and diabetes, can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop gout in the first place. Managing these conditions through regular medical check-ups and following prescribed treatments may contribute to better gout control, and in turn, better prevention of flare-ups.

Stress

Stress wreaks havoc on your body, and unfortunately, it can also increase the intensity and frequency of gout attacks. To help reduce stress levels, add more stress management techniques to your daily routine. This can include deep breathing, exercise, meditation, and listening to calming music.

Creating a gout management plan that works

Gout attacks are anything but pleasant, but the good news is that our providers are experts when it comes to preventing and treating gout and gout attacks. Your gout management plan may include lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, weight management, joint injections, and oral medications. 

Medication management 

Your Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, provider may prescribe medication to lower uric acid levels in your blood. Adhering to the prescribed medication regimen helps prevent the formation of urate crystals and minimizes your risk of flare-ups. 

In addition to uric acid-blocking medication, other medication, such as Probenecid, may help by facilitating uric acid removal through your kidneys. During acute flare-ups, you may be advised to take anti-inflammatory medications. Always take your medications as directed. 

To learn more about gout or to explore your potential treatment options, make an appointment with our team at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, today. Your feet will thank you!

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