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What is Gout?


Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. Needle-like crystals form in joints and cause sudden -- and sometimes severe -- pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. It is most commonly found in the hands and feet of sufferers.

There are several stages of gout ranging from episodes that may occur only occasionally to acute gout that usually lasts from 7 to 10 days to chronic gout that leads to joint damage and loss of mobility. Chronic gout, many times, is preventable if symptoms are treated early.

While not inclusive of all risk factors, those who are at higher risk of getting gout can include people who:

  • Have a family history of gout
  • Suffer from heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
  • Excessively eat of red meat and shellfish
  • Excessively drink liquor, beer or sweet sodas
  • Have had gastric bypass surgery

While most people will never develop gout, the attacks can be very painful. The good news is only about 4% of Americans ever develop it. The bad news is 84% of those who do will suffer from recurring attacks.

There are several ways you can prevent gout with self-care. The most obvious is diet. A diet of lower uric acid levels is also good for the heart. Other ways to possibly prevent gout is with:

  • Vitamin C supplements (500 to 1,000 milligrams a day)
  • Lots of water
  • Milk and coffee
  • Minimal intake of red meat and shellfish
  • Limiting alcohol and sugary drinks (no more than one a day)
  • Physical activity as part of weight management (remember, obesity is a risk factor)

If you believe your joints are suffering from chronic gout, call the orthopaedic specialists at Ortho El Paso. We will properly diagnose and treat your symptoms of gout before more damage is done.

Call 915-249-4000 or schedule at