Gout can be a pain in the butt—or in this case, the foot! Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body which collects in joints and causes pain, swelling and soreness. This discomfort can be especially noticeable in the big toe.
If you’re someone who has gout, you don’t have to resign yourself to a lifetime of unpredictable pain and discomfort. Dr. Price, Internal Medicine physician at SLMA, has four tips to help you manage your gout symptoms.
#1 Talk to your doctor
If you suffer from one or more symptoms of gout, it’s important you talk with your doctor about your treatment options. If you have a particularly severe case of gout, your doctor may recommend you visit a rheumatologist for more specialized care.
#2 Be mindful of what you eat
Your diet can sometimes contribute to gout development and flare-ups. Reducing your consumption of seafood, red meats and alcohol may help reduce your symptoms and make your gout more manageable. Likewise, eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and staying well-hydrated can help to keep your symptoms at bay.
#3 Healthy habits
Being overweight increases your risk of developing gout. Introducing healthy habits like mindful eating, regular exercise and quitting smoking can not only help to improve your overall health but also help you to lose weight, reducing your number of gout attacks and lessening the amount of stress on your joints.
#4 Handle with care
Gout episodes can lead to intense discomfort, swelling and pain. Taking the recommended dose of over-the-counter pain medicine may help to alleviate some of your pain; however, it’s important to avoid aspirin as it can exacerbate your gout episode.
You can also try cold therapy by placing an ice pack directly on the painful joint to help decrease both inflammation and pain, and if possible, elevate your feet using pillows.
Most importantly—don’t let gout keep you down! If you’re suffering from gout symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor to learn more about your treatment options.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Price, or another member of our team, please call 985.262.1639.