Gout is a joint disease arising from the formation of uric acid crystals. If you experience the violent attacks of pain that gout can cause, visit Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic in Cullman, Alabama. The experienced team members offer effective treatments and promote improved overall health to minimize the effects of gout on your life. To find out more about treating gout successfully, call Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic today or book an appointment online.

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What is gout?

Gout is one of many kinds of arthritis — diseases that affect your joints. Gout causes attacks of severe pain that typically affect your feet, most commonly the big toe, although it can develop in other joints, like the knees.

Symptoms of gout include swelling, reddened skin, and heat in the affected joint. The pain can be excruciating but tends to last for short, intense periods up to a few days.

Why would I get gout?

Excess uric acid (a waste product your kidneys usually extract from your body) is responsible for gout. The acid builds up and collects in your joints, forming tiny crystals. Excess uric acid can also collect in your urinary tract, causing kidney stones.

These problems can happen if your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys don’t flush enough of it away. Some foods, drinks, and medications can increase uric acid levels and trigger an attack of gout, including:

  • Shellfish
  • Liver
  • Alcohol (in excess)
  • Gravy
  • Red meat
  • Soups
  • Sugary drinks
  • High fructose foods
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Aspirin
  • Certain diuretics

You can reduce the frequency and intensity of gout attacks by making lifestyle changes. Avoid the products listed above and drink a glass of skim milk daily to lower uric acid levels. Cherries and cherry juice might reduce symptom severity during a gout attack.

How is gout treated?

A medication called colchicine can help prevent gout attacks and relieve symptoms. However, it can cause side effects. Some patients can only tolerate low doses of colchicine because of an existing disease or because it could interact with other medications.

Nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also effective in treating gout symptoms. Your Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic provider might prescribe a short-term high dose of NSAIDs.

If you’re unable to take these drugs, another option is anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, either as pills or an injection.

A newer treatment is a biologic drug called anakinra, which helps patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Some people get fast relief from gout symptoms with this medication.

If you repeatedly suffer gout attacks or have kidney stones, your provider might recommend medication that lowers your uric acid levels.

Probenecid and lesinurad help remove uric acid from your kidneys, and pegloticase breaks down the uric acid. Allopurinol and febuxostat block uric acid production. These drugs don’t affect symptoms during an acute gout attack, but they reduce your chances of further attacks.

For expert treatment of painful gout, call Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic today or book an appointment online.