How You Can Protect Your Joints From the Effects of Gout

If you have the common form of inflammatory arthritis known as gout, you might experience periodic flares of pain in one of your joints, most commonly your big toe. 

While there's no way to permanently cure your gout, you can take steps to keep your condition from worsening. Unmanaged gout can progress to gouty arthritis, with worsening symptoms of pain and debility.

Iraj Sabahi, MD sees patients with gout from his practice at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center. Located in Pleasanton and Turlock, California, our experienced care team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center provides support for new and existing patients with gout and arthritis. 

Here's what Dr. Sabahi recommends his patients with gout do to minimize the impacts of their condition.

What causes gout pain?

When you have gout, your system struggles to correctly regulate the levels of uric acid in your blood. Your body makes uric acid when it breaks down naturally-present purines, as well as when digesting protein-rich foods. Your body may produce excess uric acid, or you may not be able to eliminate enough to keep your levels low.

Excess uric acid in your blood, called hyperuricemia, leads to the formation of small, spiky urate crystals. These crystals can settle into your soft tissues or joints. Your body responds to the presence of uric acid crystals by activating your immune system, the same way it would if an attacking germ showed up. An influx of white blood cells causes inflammation, with symptoms like redness, swelling, fever, and pain. 

Gout attacks last between three to 10 days, and can seriously damage your quality of life.

How can you treat gout? 

To keep your gout in remission, without painful symptoms of inflammation, you need to take proactive steps. With a combination of lifestyle changes and medical support, you can live free from gout pain. Treatment can also help an attack clear up more quickly when one occurs.

After you've been diagnosed with gout at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center, we'll work with you to put together a customized treatment plan to manage your condition. 

We may recommend you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain and inflammation, as well as medications including:

We usually recommend lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, targeted healthy weight loss, and limiting the amount of high-purine foods and beverages you consume. Being overweight and drinking heavily can both increase your risk of gout.

If you're concerned about managing your gout, contact the rheumatology team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center today. We can diagnose your gout and get you started with a treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and protect your joints.

Contact our office today to request your initial consultation appointment online.

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