Tara Rizvi, MD
Rheumatologists located in Katy, TX
The painful, swollen joints caused by gout can affect your life, work, and overall sense of wellness. At Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists in Katy Texas, Tara Rizvi, MD, offers expert diagnosis, knowledge-based education, and long-term support for those suffering from gout. For a consultation with Dr. Rizvi regarding your gout-related joint pain, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.
Gout Q & A
What is gout?
Gout is a common form of arthritis caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in a joint. Uric acid is the byproduct when your body breaks down food containing purines, a protein found in organ meats and alcohol. Gout develops when uric acid exceeds healthy levels in your blood and builds up in the joints, tissues, and fluids of your body.
A chronic condition, gout usually has cycles when symptoms are present, called flares, and periods where there are no symptoms at all, called remission. Flares can be triggered by ingesting foods or drinks with high levels of purines, and can usually be improved by adjusting your diet.
Who is at risk for gout?
Most significantly, being a man and having a diet consistently high in purines can place you at higher risk for having gout.
Other risk factors include:
- Heart disease and heart failure
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Diabetes and insulin resistance
- Metabolic disorders
- Poor kidney function
- Certain medications, including diuretics
- Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar
- Consuming alcohol
Improving your risk factors can help to prevent flares of gout, and can help diminish painful symptoms associated with the disease as well.
What are the symptoms of gout?
Gout usually affects one joint at a time, primarily the big toe. It can also affect other toes, or your knees and ankles. Symptoms may include:
- Significant pain
- Tenderness to touch
Flares may appear suddenly, and the symptoms can be severe. Once symptoms resolve, remission can last days, months, or even years.
What treatments are available for gout?
Treatments for gout usually focus on pain control and decreasing the underlying cause for your increased uric acid levels. Dr. Rizvi creates a personalized plan based on your symptoms that also addresses the underlying cause of your pain.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Dietary counseling
- Medications for pain control
- Avoidance of foods and drinks high in purines
Lifestyle changes are key to prevention of future gout flares. Long-term management may include healthy weight loss, increased healthy activity, decreased consumption of alcohol, and a healthy diet.
For a personalized plan to treat and prevent gout, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or book an appointment online with Dr. Rizvi today.