The Hirsh Center
Arthritis and Sports Medicine Center located in Delray Beach, FL
More than 8 million Americans suffer from gout -- a type of arthritis that affects more men than women. The Hirsh Center in Delray Beach, Florida, specializes in rheumatology and musculoskeletal conditions. The Hirsh Center medical team focuses on discovering new treatment options for men and women who suffer from arthritic conditions like gout.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Q & A
What is gout?
Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis in men caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints. It often occurs in the joint, but more commonly in the big toe and can be extremely painful. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible joint damage and kidney problems.
Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found naturally in your body and in the foods you eat. If your body has difficulty processing the uric acid, it can crystallize and build up in your joints or cause kidney stones.
What are the common symptoms of gout?
Gout is often characterized by the sudden and rapid onset of intense pain in a single joint, typically your big toe. Warmth, swelling, and tenderness may accompany the pain, and your knees, ankles, wrists, finger, and elbow joints are also susceptible to a gout attack. For some adults, the pain is so intense that even the slightest touch to the affected area causes unbearable pain.
Often, the initial bout of intense pain subsides several hours after it flares up, and you may experience lingering pain and discomfort. Eventually, you can lose mobility in the affected joint if you ignore recurring symptoms.
What are the common risk factors for gout?
Common risk factors for developing gout include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Certain medications
- Diet of foods rich in purines, like shellfish and steak
- Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Recent surgery or trauma
If you have a family member with gout, or you’re a male between the ages of 30-50, you have a higher risk of developing this type of arthritis.
What are the treatment options for gout?
In many cases, medications provide effective relief from gout symptoms and help prevent future flare-ups. The medical team at The Hirsh Center carefully diagnoses your specific condition and prescribes treatment options that help your body process uric acid more effectively. The doctors may also recommend that you make lifestyle changes and adjust your diet to prevent gout flare-ups. Additionally, the team may recommend joint injections to treat arthritic pain and restore mobility.
If you suffer from gout flare-ups, call the office or schedule an appointment online. The sooner you treat the symptoms, the lower your risk for further health complications.