It is a condition caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in a joint leading to inflammation and swelling of the joint. It is a kind of arthritis which begins suddenly.
The buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint leads to gouty arthritis. Uric acid is a byproduct of purine metabolism. Purines are substances in our body and are also found in food. Uric acid is excreted by the kidneys. An excess of uric acid present in the bloodstream is known as hyperuricemia and if left untreated will lead to acute attacks of gout.
Tips to prevent flare-ups:
- Stop eating high purine-containing foods such as shellfish, red meat, and beer which sets off the gout attack
- Stop or reduce intake of alcohol, it is one of the triggering factors for gout as it reduces the kidneys’ ability to filter uric acid and can result in excess build-up leading to gout attacks.
- Being overweight is one of the reasons for gout attacks. Most of the obese people have metabolic syndrome which leads to elevated uric acid levels in the body leading to gout attacks. So make sure to reduce weight and exercise and eat healthy to prevent obesity.
- Reduce the intake of soda. It is one of the triggering factors to elevate uric acid levels. So make sure to reduce intake of soda or if taken not more than 12 ounces per day.
- Always stay hydrated, researchers have found that people who are dehydrated have high levels of uric acid levels in joints and formation of kidney stones. Though the exact reason is not known. So make sure to have plenty of water daily.
- Proper fitting shoes: Always wear shoes which are comfortable to walk or else it may cause trauma to the foot which in turn flares up the gout attack.
- Some medications such as diuretics reduce the kidney’s ability to remove uric acid and leads to hyperuricemia, a risk factor for developing gout. So if you have gout attacks, make sure to go over the medications when you consult a doctor and undergo regular checkups to prevent the risk of gout attacks.