Men’s health – gout
Affectionately known as ‘the disease of kings’, gout is the second most common form of arthritis in New Zealand. It is a form of arthritis that causes pain in your joints, usually the big toe but is known to also affect joints in the feet, ankles, knees and hands.
It is evidenced by joint swelling, redness and can be extremely painful.
It is caused when uric acid builds up in your bloodstream, and crystals of uric acid then form around the joint causing the pain. It can last between 3-10 days thought some people may have gout several times a year.
Gout affects primarily men over 40, over-eating particular foods such as meat or seafood, or over-consuming too much alcohol, beer or soft drinks.
10–15% of men over 45 get gout and unfortunately for Maori and Pacific populations this increases to over 50%, principally because of genetics. Being overweight is another major cause of gout.
Dietary and lifestyle changes are needed to tackle this issue. Rather than repeating cases of unwanted treatments, or worse left untreated, gout can cause permanent damage to your joints, lead to kidney damage or be a contributing factor of diabetes and heart disease.
To test for gout your doctor might take a blood sample to check the uric acid level in your blood. If your uric acid levels are high, your doctor might also take a sample of fluid from your joint.
Your doctor can prescribe pain relief and/or medication to limit the uric acid in your body. Using cold packs and wearing a supportive shoe will also help.
Dietary and lifestyle changes are needed to tackle this issue.
- reducing foods that trigger gout
- drinking less alcohol and beer in particular
- restricting soft drinks but increasing your water intake
- reducing bodyweight.
Rather than repeating cases of unwanted treatments, or worse left untreated, gout can cause permanent damage to your joints, lead to kidney damage or be a contributing factor of diabetes and heart disease.
If you have are feeling pain in your joints give us a call and we can arrange to see you.
Tel: 09 309 9577
For more information on gout go to;
Mens Health NZ www.menshealthnz.org.nz