COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - You wake up in the middle of the night, and your big toe feels like it's on fire. It's swollen and so tender that even the weight of a sheet on it seems intolerable. This problem could indicate an acute attack of gout.
Dr. Paula Walker from Columbus State University tells us more.
Gout is a type of arthritis that involves an increased production of uric acid crystals that accumulate in the body's joints. Uric acid is a substance that forms when the body breaks down a particular ingredient that is found in food and beverages. Usually the uric acid is cleared in the kidneys; however when there is an issue with the kidneys the acid becomes stored in the joints and causes pain.
Men are more likely to have gout. Other risk factors for gout include a family history of the condition, being overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
To avoid gout, you may have to cut certain foods and out of your diet. Alcohol, animal meat, seafood, asparagus, mushrooms, and legumes all have a high amount of uric acid.
You can prevent gout by drinking plenty of water, controlling your blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol, eating less red meats and seafood, avoiding alcohol products and eating low-fat dairy products.
Black cherry juice has been shown to reduce gout, and there are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines that are available as well.
Watch the video for more details.