Gout is an incredibly painful form of arthritis, and is most commonly seen in older adults and men. However, gout is also known to affect women, though it is less common in this demographic. Women are actually more likely to experience gout than men up until roughly age 60. Past this age, gout strikes men more frequently. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available if you think you might have gout.
What is Gout in Women?
Gout is a type of arthritis brought on by crystallized uric acid in the joints. Uric acid is a byproduct of the metabolism of purines, which are found in certain types of food, such as meats and seafood. When too much uric acid builds up in the body, of which can happen as we age, crystals form around the joints in the foot, ankle, hands, knees, and elbows. These crystals then cause inflammation, pain, redness, and swelling.
What are the Causes of Gout in Women?
Gout in women can be caused by a variety of things, such as age, diet, and gender. Women tend to develop gout later than men because they have naturally lower uric acid levels and are more likely to be diagnosed with conditions like hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease, which can also increase the risk of gout in women. A diet high in purines, as well as alcohol and sugary beverages, can also increase a woman’s risk for gout.
What are the Symptoms of Gout in Women?
The most common signs of gout in women are pain, redness, and swelling in the joint. The pain is often described as intense and burning, and can easily be mistaken for other causes of joint pain, such as a bunion or athlete’s foot. It is also common for the area around the joint to be warm to the touch.
What are the Treatment Options for Gout in Women?
The first step in treating gout in women is to make lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of purines in the diet, as well as avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks. The doctor may also prescribe medications to help reduce the amount of uric acid in the body and as well as inflammation, such as ibuprofen and allopurinol. If the gout is severe, they may also recommend steroid injections.
The Importance of Taking Care of Your Health with Gout in Women
Gout in women is often overlooked, but it is incredibly important to take care of your health if you think you might have the condition. Gout can be incredibly painful and can have a serious impact on one’s quality of life. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you think you have gout and to make lifestyle changes, such as reducing your intake of purine-rich foods, alcohol, and sugary drinks, in order to reduce your risk and treat your condition.