Gout is one of the most common medical conditions people suffer from and something you might be dealing with yourself. It is a painful condition and one that must be treated effectively. To combat gout, it is first key to not only understand what it is but also the best ways to treat it.
What is gout?
Gout is a painful sort of arthritis that commonly presents itself in the feet. It can often flare up in the joint at the base of your big toe. Although it is a condition anyone can suffer from, men aged 30 to 80 are most prone. Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body, which can form urate crystals as it builds up. These crystals can accumulate around your joints and lead to inflammation in some cases. They also cause pain and pose the danger of damage to the joints affected.
It is thought that consuming too much offal, red meat, shellfish and alcohol can lead to gout. While this is true to some extent, it is usually only a small piece of the puzzle. It can often depend on your genetic make-up, as not everyone who does this or sees a uric acid build-up suffers from gout.
How do you treat gout?
The good news is that, unlike other forms of arthritis, more damage to the affected joint(s) from gout can be avoided through correct treatment. But what is the best way to tackle it?
If you have an attack of gout, the first thing to do is sit down and rest. It is also recommended to apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected area multiple times per day for up to 30 minutes per session. This will help reduce the pain and inflammation. Weight can be a factor in attacks of gout, so it also makes sense to keep your weight at a healthy level.
If the above does not help, the next step is to visit a qualified medical professional who specialises in gout. They will be able to examine you and decide on the best course of treatment. In most cases, anti-inflammatory drugs are the first option. You may also be prescribed cortisone-style drugs as an injection or tablet to battle the inflammation.
The above gives a clear overview of not only what gout is but the most common ways to treat it. If you live in London and need more help with this condition, contact Dr Stephanie Barrett today on 020 7730 8508 to book an appointment.