Why you need to treat more than just the GOUT Attack in your toe!-by Dr. Joseph E. Mechanik
posted: Dec. 21, 2022.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. It is characterized by sudden and severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, most commonly the big toe. While gout joint attacks are the most common symptom of gout, it is important to be aware of the other potential effects of gout on the body.
Gout can affect the kidneys in a number of ways. Uric acid crystals can form in the kidneys, leading to kidney stones. These stones can cause pain and block the flow of urine, leading to infection. In addition, high levels of uric acid in the blood can cause damage to the kidneys, leading to a condition called uric acid nephropathy. This can lead to kidney failure, which can be life-threatening.
It is also important to be aware of the potential effects of gout on other organs in the body. Uric acid can accumulate in the heart, leading to a condition called uric acid cardiomyopathy. This can cause heart failure and other heart-related problems. Uric acid can also accumulate in the lungs, leading to a condition called uric acid pneumonitis. This can cause difficulty breathing and other respiratory problems.
For these reasons, it is important to treat gout more than just its joint attacks. This means controlling uric acid levels in the body through diet, lifestyle changes, and medication. Lowering intake of foods high in purines, such as red meats, organ meats, and shellfish, can help reduce uric acid levels. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can also help reduce uric acid levels. In addition, medications such as allopurinol can be used to reduce uric acid levels and prevent gout attacks.
By being aware of the potential effects of gout on the body, people with gout can take steps to reduce their risk of developing serious complications. This includes controlling uric acid levels through diet, lifestyle changes, and medication. Taking these steps can help reduce the risk of gout joint attacks, as well as the risk of other serious complications.