- Most of us know at least one person
who has suffered a gout attack.
In my case, it was my father.
One evening it started with a painful, red, swollen ankle.
Seemed to come on in an instant,
and he could barely put any pressure on it at all.
The next day, he was diagnosed with gout.
Did my father know he had risk factors for gout?
Did he know that he could've had his uric acid levels
checked prior to having a gout attack?
Did he know that there were things
that may have helped prevent gout?
So let's go through some of the risk factors for gout.
First, family history.
If you have family members with gout,
you are at a higher risk of a gout attack.
A gout attack can happen at any age,
but most commonly it happens in men over the age of 45.
Gout affects more men than women.
Women can get gout,
but usually not until they go through menopause.
In U.S. Hispanics and African-Americans
who have features of metabolic syndrome,
they are more likely to develop gout.
If you are overweight with a body mass index
of 30 or higher, you are at risk for gout.
This includes diuretics or water pills
and some antirejection medicines used
in transplant patients.
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease
all put you at higher risk for gout.
A high uric acid level.
A serum uric acid level above 6.8 milligrams per deciliter
is also known as hyperuricemia.
This is the number one trigger for gout.
There are some additional triggers
that may help bring on a gout attack:
drinking alcohol, especially beer,
eating a lot of red meat, shellfish,
and oily fishes such as tuna and anchovies,
high protein fad diets, starting gout medications
that lower the uric acid
without having an antiinflammatory working as well,
bed rest, especially after surgery.
What can you do to manage your gout?
Take your medications as prescribed.
Do not stop your medications without telling your doctor.
Check your uric acid levels twice a year.
The goal should be a uric acid level
below six milligrams per deciliter.
Maintain a healthy body weight.
Someone at a ideal body weight is at lower risk for gout.
Stay away from fad diets.
Get regular exercise.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend
at least 30 minutes a day for most days of the week.
You do not have to join a gym for this.
A good walking program will do.
Drink plenty of water.
Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Water may help remove uric acid from your blood stream.
Stay away from drinks made with high fructose corn syrup.
Maintain a healthy diet.
You wanna maintain a well-balanced diet
that is low in purines.
Gout attack can come on suddenly
and result in a very painful, red, and swollen joint.
It's important to understand
what factors can put you at risk for this condition,
as well as how to manage your gout attacks a little better.