Dr. Vijay Karia is a board certified physician who specializes in all aspects of rheumatology. He’s capable of effectively diagnosing and treating gout as well as other types of disorders. He encourages patients living in the greater Houston, Texas area to visit him if they have any questions concerning gout of other types of arthritis. He also offers services to patients living in Cypress, the Woodlands, and Tomball.
Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs in the joints of the extremities. The main cause of gout is an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid can begin to crystallize within the joints of the feet, the ankles, wrists, and hands. It can sometimes work its way further up the limb, affecting the knees and elbows. As more crystals collect in the area, the joint becomes swollen and extremely painful, limiting movement and possibly damaging bone. Gout is most common in men between the ages of 30 and 50, but can also strike women, especially if they are past the age of menopause. Individuals who are overweight and have high blood pressure are more prone to gout than individuals who have a healthier cardiovascular system.
Home treatment of gout includes drinking plenty of fluids, regular exercise to keep the joints flexible, and a healthy diet that can prevent the creation of excessive amounts of uric acid. Treatment has now advanced to certain uricosuric drugs and even pegloticase infusion to reduce the urate load in the body. Relaxation techniques that help relieve stress may also be beneficial. Swimming and stretching are two exercises that help improve circulation without placing stress and strain on the joints. Doctors also recommend avoiding tobacco products that can have a negative impact on the body's ability to heal itself.
While a gout attack can be effectively managed, the chance of a recurrence increases with each episode. The most effective way of managing the disease is to start the appropriate therapy to reduce uric acid levels. Modifying potential triggers like stress, specific types of food, excessive amounts of beer, high blood pressure, and obesity will help decrease the duration and intensity of gout attacks. Even though the symptoms may resolve, gout can return with a vengeance if the right conditions occur. Education regarding available therapies and lifestyle modification will allow patients to achieve the best outcome.
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