What to Know About Gout

Gout can affect anyone, but it more often affects men than it does women. In fact, men can be three times more likely to get gout than women because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives.

Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team provides some more helpful information about this painful form of arthritis below, so keep reading!

  • What gout is: Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, tender, hot and swollen joint. Gout “attacks” typically come on rapidly and can last for hours and even days.

  • What causes gout: Gout is typically caused by having an excess amount of uric acid in the bloodstream, which is medically known as hyperuricemia. The body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in your body and the foods you eat. When there is too much uric acid in the body, uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) can build up in joints, fluids and tissues within the body.

  • Typical gout symptoms: The most common symptom of gout is a recurrent attack of acute inflammatory arthritis, which causes intense pain, swelling, redness and heat.

  • Here’s what to do: If you’re experiencing a flare, take some OTC anti-inflammatory pills like ibuprofen to help with the swelling and pain. Avoid aspirin, though, as it can actually raise the level of uric acid in the bloodstream.

  • What to do next: After the pain has been reduced, make sure you monitor the foods you are eating. Eating or drinking foods high in fructose and drinking alcohol can increase your chances of dealing with gout flare-ups.

  • What to do after: Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC center if these treatment options don’t work, or if your gout flare-up lasts between 48 hours and a week.

  • Action steps to take: One of the best things you can do to prevent future gout flare-ups from happening is by maintaining healthy habits, such as losing weight, limiting purine-rich foods, staying physically active and protecting your joints.

  • Doctor recommendations: You can play an active role in controlling gout by visiting our AFC center for check-ups and following your recommended treatment plan. This is especially important if you also have other chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.

Do you have further questions about gout? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team today!