People of all backgrounds are prone to certain illnesses, but unfortunately, there are some people who are more likely to become ill than others, especially with gout. Gout is a painful type of arthritis that causes flares of inflammation in joints such as the fingers, elbows, and ankles. It may be too late to prevent gout, but there are ways to manage the agonizing symptoms for those who already have this painful arthritis. There are certain factors that are known to increase your risk for gout, but the good news is that you can take certain precautions to keep gout pains and symptoms at bay.
How to Assess Your Gout
Gout is a strange-sounding name for an ailment, but those who have experienced the pain from gout know all too well that this type of arthritis can be very unique. Gout is caused by excess uric acid that crystallizes in one or more joints and not only causes pain and inflammation, but also an excruciating recurring pain.
Although gout commonly strikes people, especially men, in their twenties and thirties, it can become more common for people 45 and older. “Using the salt shaker analogy, the older a patient gets, the more likely it is for the shaker to get full and thus to overflow when additional ‘salt’ is added,” said Theodore Fields, MD, spokesperson for GoutPitStop.com, director of the Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and professor of clinical medicine at Weil Cornell Medical College in New York City. Ultimately, that results in a gout attack with painful symptoms. The risk of gout can also increase with age, since the kidneys don’t function as well, which can increase the uric acid level in the body.