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What Are You Talking A-Gout?

By Sara Butler

Gout – it may be something that crosses your mind only when you think of your Aunt Bertha, but in truth, it’s a condition that can strike anyone at any time. Here’s what you should know about gout and how you can help prevent a gout attack with the help of your chiropractor!

Gout Explained

Gout is a form of arthritis. It is characterized by intense, sudden attacks of the impacted joint of things such as: 

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Extreme pain

At first, gout only attacks certain joints, usually the big toe. But as it progresses you can expect that other tissues around the joint will begin to be affected.

Even though gout is considered arthritis, it is caused by an underlying disorder of uric acid metabolism. Your body is unable to process the uric acid produced by your kidneys as it should, and so it builds up in your body and will impact a joint. Uric acid crystals develop in the fluid that bathes your joints. It most commonly impacts people who lead a stressful life, eat a lot of red meat, drink a lot of alcohol, or have recently had surgery or an illness.

Other Joints Impacted

It’s not just the big toe that can be struck down with gout. You can also develop gout in your:

  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Fingers
  • Ankles
  • Knees

If you develop symptoms of gout in any of these joints, it’s something you need to bring to the attention of your chiropractor.

Who’s at Risk?

According to the National Institutes of Health, six million adults have been diagnosed with gout. Men are three times more likely to develop gout after age 40. Women do get it, but usually in their late 40s or early 50s. It’s rare in children.

Are You At Risk?

There are a few risk factors that may predispose you to gout, including:

  • Family history
  • Alcohol intake
  • Excess body weight
  • Chemotherapy
  • Certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Organ transplant

How Your Chiropractor Can Help

If you think you may have gout or are at risk for developing it, discuss it with your chiropractor, who can help determine if you have gout and, if so, what can be done to help keep it from reoccurring. Therapy may include plenty of fluid intake, avoidance of alcohol, avoidance of certain foods, regular exercise, ice therapy, lifestyle changes.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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