Gout, or hyperuricemia, is a type of complex arthritis that is more common than one might think. It occurs when high levels of uric acid form urate crystals collect in your joints. A gout attack will feel like your affected joints are on fire. The severe pain, lingering discomfort, inflammation, redness, and limited range of motion can occur suddenly and often at night. If left untreated, this can cause worsening pain and, in the long run, joint damage.
Many people find gout to be disabling. They need to wait for their gout flare-ups to go away before they can go back to living a comfortable life. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent and reduce pain and inflammation.
These days, many people with gout would go for supplements that lower uric acid as part of their gout management. By lowering your uric acid levels, you get to reduce your chances of attack. This, along with the right lifestyle changes, can help you prevent gout flare-ups.
While gout is more common, many people still believe numerous misconceptions about this condition. If you have ever experienced a gout flare-up, then this is for you. Here are five gout myths you need to stop believing.
Gout Pain Is Always on Your Big Toe
It is true that most of the time, urate crystals would settle on your big toe, causing extreme pain, swelling, and discomfort. But know that this condition can also impact other parts of your body. After the first one or two attacks, gout can affect multiple joints, including your feet, ankles, and knees.
Some people can suffer gout in their fingers, wrist, and elbows. This can impact their ability to carry objects and use their arm for daily activities. This shows that while gout symptoms often manifest in big toes, they can impact any joint in the body.
There Are No Natural Ways of Preventing Gout
Doctors would recommend natural interventions like lifestyle changes to support gout treatment and prevention. The best way to reduce your chances of developing gout is by lowering uric acid levels. Numerous studies show that consuming certain foods aid in prevent gout.
According to a 2015 analysis, drinking coffee, increasing your Vitamin C intake, and consuming dairy products can protect you against gout development. Cherries are also known to be useful in managing uric acid levels. Other herbal supplements like ginger, turmeric, and milk thistle can also help lower uric acid levels.
Gout Cannot Kill You
Gout is painful and can be debilitating if not managed and treated early. It may not have the capacity to kill you. But then, such a condition can cause other serious health issues that have high morbidity rates.
Gout increases one’s risk of developing serious conditions, like the following.
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Sleep Apnea
Diet Alone Triggers Gout
Diet plays a huge role in the development of gout. Certain food and drinks can increase your risk of developing high levels of uric acid. But then, one thing we need to realize is that diet is not the only thing to blame for gout.
Genes and family history can also influence your gout development. These, along with your medications, weight, and medical history, can play a part in your gout issue. This is one reason why diet changes alone are not enough to manage your symptoms.
This is why doctors would recommend gout patients to do interventions to better protect their joints. Gradual exercise, for one, can help re-establish muscle movement and strength around affected joints. According to a Taiwanese study, regular exercise helps attenuate one’s mortality risk related to high uric acid levels.
Abstaining From Alcohol Can Cure Your Gout
Reducing alcohol consumption can have an overall positive impact on your health. But then, quitting alcohol won’t completely help you prevent nor cure your gout. While alcohol tends to increase uric acid levels in the blood, cutting alcohol alone will not stop your gout.
You can limit your consumption of the types of alcohol that have high levels of purine. Beer is the perfect example of this. Purine compounds increase uric acid in your blood, which causes urate crystals to form and accumulate in your joints, causing gout.
This is just a shortlist of the common myths associated with gout. The more you educate yourself on this condition, the easier it will be to manage your gout. There is no reason for you to allow gout from ruining your life. Talk to your doctor after seeing symptoms of gout development so you can manage your condition early on.