Gout can be extremely painful, and you don’t know when you will experience a flare-up. Even though gout is technically incurable, there are things you can do to lower the risk and frequency of dealing with flare-ups.
Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Cleveland explains.
- What gout is: Gout is a common, painful form of inflammatory arthritis, and it usually affects one joint at a time. There are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when there are no symptoms, known as remission.
- Its main causes: Hyperuricemia, an excess of uric acid in the blood, is the leading cause of gout. The body produces uric acid during the breakdown of purines, which are chemical compounds found in high amounts in certain foods such as meat, poultry and seafood.
- Its symptoms include: Pain, swelling, redness and/or heat of the affected joint. Gout flares start suddenly and can last for days or weeks, followed by a long period of remission.
- 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.
- What to do next: After the pain has been reduced, make sure you monitor the foods you are eating. Purine-rich foods will induce gout flare-ups, in addition to beer and hard liquor.
- 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: In chronic gout cases, as opposed to acute gout, your doctor may recommend colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug that effectively reduces gout pain. Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor or our AFC center if you are still unsure how to properly deal with your condition.
Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team is here for all your non-emergency medical needs! Don’t hesitate to visit us today.