Boston, MA (PRWEB) February 10, 2016
Gout is like no other joint pain. It strikes suddenly, like flicking on a light switch, and brings pain that is often severe, with intense swelling and redness. It is triggered by the crystallization of uric acid within the joints. It affects more than eight million people, but older adults are the most susceptible, according to the February 2016 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.
The large joint of the big toe is the most commonly affected area, followed by the side of the foot and ankle, along with the knees, hands, and wrists. In general, if a person has one gout attack, there is a good chance he will have another within the next year.
“The first line of treatment is medication,” says Dr. Robert Shmerling, clinical chief of rheumatology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This includes common over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Pain relievers and prescription anti-inflammatories like colchicine (Colcrys) and corticosteroids also can help.
But medication is only one way to fight gout attacks. “Altering lifestyle habits can add further protection,” says Dr. Shmerling. Some lifestyle changes that can help with gout include:
Read the full-length article: “Fight back against gout”
Also in the February 2016 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch:
The Harvard Men's Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).
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