Are You At Risk for Gout?

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There are many types of diseases and conditions that, when developed, put you at risk of then developing other related issues. For example, when you have a disease like diabetes, you’re at a higher risk for developing other conditions like nerve disease and gout. As a disease, gout is a type of arthritis that arises from excessive levels of uric acid in our bodies. That uric acid is triggered to cluster together at particular joints, like our toes or ankles, forming sharp, abrasive crystals inside and around those joints. These crystals irritate the surrounding tissues and cause chronic inflammation, leading to swelling, tenderness, painfulness, visible redness, and warmth from the inflammation that you can feel by touching the affected area. For those of us with conditions that put us at higher risks of developing gout, here are some ways we can help prevent gout from developing.

  • Exercise More Often - We know you’ve heard this before, but it will never not be true! Exercising on a daily basis can help you in several areas of your life, including reducing your susceptibility to developing gout. Exercise combats the buildup of uric acid by keeping your joints moving and lubricated.

  • Drink More Water - Another one we’re sure you hear all the time! Not only can staying hydrated help you achieve a clearer complexion, fight off colds more easily, and keep your organs happy and at optimal health - staying hydrated can also reduce and prevent the buildup of uric acid. If uric acid can’t build up, you can’t develop gout!

  • Drink Less Alcohol - This isn’t exactly the most exciting piece of advice we could give, but it’s invaluable. If you’re at risk of developing gout, alcohol is a must-have for your do-not-have list. Alcohol is infamous for raising the uric acid levels in our bodies and triggering inflammation that provokes crystals to build up.

Have you ever wondered if you’re at risk for developing gout, or if some of the pain you experience in your feet and ankles could be due to uric acid buildup? Call us today at (207) 774-0028 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michele Kurlanski at Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center in Scarborough, ME.