Dr. David O’Reilly a friendly rheumatologist from the UK recently published some facts about gout. Read below to learn more.

  1. Gout is common. 2 million Americans suffer from gout.
  2. Gout is caused by uric acid. Uric acid is produced when our bodies breakdown chemicals called purines. When uric acid crystals build up in tissues/joints it causes gout.
  3. Take gout seriously. People with high uric acid levels have increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This effect is magnified since people with gout tend to be heavier, have higher blood pressure, and greater diabetes rates. Learn about Metabolic Syndrome.
  4. Gout attacks are normally thought of as affecting the big toe but people can have gout attacks in any joint in the body.
  5. Dieting reduces the uric acid level by  about 10%  but weight loss must be gradual as crash dieting can bring on attacks.
  6. Anti inflammatories are widely available and are often used as “first line” treatment.
  7. Don’t wait too long to start long term medication to sort out your gout.
  8. Know your uric acid levels. If you have gout it is vital to check the uric acid levels to monitor disease activity.
  9. If you start on treatment – stick to it or the gout may return.
  10. When your gout gets under control it’s important to stick with the lifestyle changes you have made.

DID YOU KNOW? The white chalky substance in bird droppings is uric acid. You know what it does to your car’s paintwork, imagine what it can do to your joints?!

To read more check out Dr. O’Reilly’s blog here.