"Unfortunately, the intense pain associated with gout is just the tip of the iceberg," added GUAES board member H. Ralph Schumacher, Jr., M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and rheumatologist at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "Untreated gout and prolonged hyperuricemia can lead to an accumulation of needle-like urate crystals that not only cause the acute attacks typical of gout, but also can eventually lead to permanent joint damage and even to deposits that bulge out from under the skin (tophi). People with gout are also at higher risk for kidney disease and cardiac problems, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure."
Coach Cheeks and the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society have developed
a three-part "gameplan" to help people with or at-risk for gout take
control of the condition:
1. Know the Risk Factors and Triggers for Gout
Risk factors include obesity, previous joint injury or disease, high
blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, genetics
(one out of four people with gout have a family history of the
condition) and elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia).
Triggers for attacks include surgery or sudden severe illness and
consumption of large quantities of purine-rich foods, especially meat
products, or excessive alcohol intake, especially beer.
2. Stay in Control of Your Uric Acid Levels
Most experts agree that lowering a person's uric acid level to less
than 6.0 mg/dL is helpful to reduce urate crystal accumulation and
prevent the consequences of hyperuricemia and gout. It is important
to work with your physician to mo
|SOURCE Gout & Uric Acid Education Society|
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