5 Risk Factors for Gout
How to Assess Your Gout Risk
Gout is a funny-sounding name for an ailment, but anyone who has experienced gout pain knows this type of arthritis is no laughing matter. Caused by excess uric acid crystallizing in one or more joints, gout not only causes pain and inflammation, but that excruciating gout pain can be recurring.
Certain factors increase your gout risk, but you can take action to help keep gout symptoms at bay.
1. Age: It becomes more common beginning around age 45 and older.
That results in a gout attack with painful gout symptoms. Gout risk can also increase with age because often the kidneys do not function as well, which can increase the uric acid level in the body. Finally with aging comes more medications for many people, and some of those drugs can raise gout risk.
2. Gender: While both men and women can get gout, it is more common in men. Gout risk also begins at an earlier age in men and lasts throughout their lives, primarily because beginning in adolescence men have higher uric acid levels than women. Estrogen tends to protect women from gout during the childbearing years, but after menopause a woman’s gout risk increases.
3. Other Medical Conditions: An obese person is four times as likely to develop gout as someone with a normal body weight.
Diabetes and insulin resistance may also play a role in the development of gout as can having decreased kidney function. People with malignant tumors undergoing treatment can also have high levels of uric acid resulting in gout. Losing weight, if necessary, can help cut gout risk, as can seeing a doctor regularly to keep other health issues under control.
4. Excessive Alcohol Use: Drinking certain kinds of alcohol can also increase a bout of gout symptoms.
Studies have shown that wine does not increase the risk of gout although beer can.
To cut your gout risk, abstaining from alcohol is the safest bet, followed by drinking wine. Also, keep the number of drinks to a minimum.
5. Certain Medications: Some medications can make your chances of having an attack of gout symptoms more likely. Examples include certain diuretics, baby aspirin, and the anti-rejection transplant medication cyclosporine.
RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.
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