When we hear the word “arthritis,” most of us think of the most common form of the disease: osteoarthritis, which happens after years of wear-and-tear on your joints. But other types of arthritis are less well-known.
One type of arthritis that doesn’t get much attention is gout, yet it can cause the same painful symptoms as the better-known osteoarthritis. What’s more, gout isn’t all that uncommon — about 7% of Americans are dealing with it every day.
Our team at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey, has extensive experience treating all types of arthritis, including gout. Here’s how we can help you.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that happens when uric acid builds up in your joints. Uric acid is a normal byproduct that forms when substances called purines are broken down. Some amount of uric acid is normal, but too much can form hard, pointy crystals that cause joint pain.
Many people develop gout in the big toe joint, but it can affect any joint in your body, including your knees. Some people may notice tiny, hard lumps in their soft tissues. These lumps are built-up concentrations of excess uric acid.
Gout can happen to anyone, but it’s more common among people who:
It also tends to be more common among people with a family history of gout.
Gout “attacks” can come on suddenly, and they can be very painful. The good news is that gout can be treated. Our team recommends a two-pronged approach to gout treatment: medication and lifestyle changes.
Gout responds to a couple of different kinds of medicines. Anti-inflammatory medicines help reduce inflammation that causes swelling, pain, and joint stiffness.
Other medicines work by helping to reduce the amount of uric acid in your body. They do this by decreasing uric acid production, helping you eliminate more uric acid through your urine, or breaking down uric acid so it doesn’t cause symptoms.
Lifestyle changes typically involve dietary changes, increased physical activity, weight loss when needed, drinking lots of water, and avoiding alcohol. These simple changes may help prevent gout attacks in the future.
Don’t let painful gout take over your life. Take steps today to relieve your pain and prevent additional joint damage.
To learn how the team at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness can help, book an appointment online or over the phone today.