Alfredo Sardinas Jr., MD PA
Rheumatologist located in The Heights, Houston, TX
If you’ve ever woken up to the sensation that your foot is burning or in extreme pain, you may have a joint condition called gout. Skilled rheumatologist Alfredo Sardinas Jr., MD PA, has extensive training in treating gout with a combination of medications and simple lifestyle changes. To find out if gout is causing your painful flare-ups, call Dr. Sardinas’ Houston, Texas practice, or book an appointment online today.
Gout Q & A
What is gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the joints of your foot, especially those in your big toe. It happens when a component called uric acid builds up in your blood and forms crystals in the affected joints.
There are many possible reasons for the buildup of uric acid that causes gout and its symptoms. Uric acid can accumulate in your bloodstream because of your diet, genetics, certain conditions, or foods high in natural substances called purines, like red meat or fish. You can also develop gout because of heavy alcohol drinking.
What are the symptoms of gout?
It’s possible to have a gout diagnosis because of the amount of uric acid in your blood, but have no symptoms from it. This is called asymptomatic gout.
Commonly, gout causes no symptoms for a long time with intermittent periods with symptoms called gout attacks. During a gout attack, your affected joint might be:
- Painful or sore
- Warm to the touch
A gout attack can last for three to ten days and can be very painful. They often start in the very early hours of the morning while you’re still asleep. Over time, after many gout attacks, you might struggle to move the affected joint normally. To avoid permanent joint damage from gout, you should seek treatment early to reduce attacks.
How can I prevent gout attacks?
If you have a high uric acid in your blood and uric acid crystal buildup around a joint, preventing gout attacks isn’t always possible. However, there are some steps you can take on your own without professional treatment to reduce your risk of a gout attack. Dr. Sardinas recommends following these instructions between gout attacks:
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Drinking lots of water
- Limiting meat in your diet
If you continue to have painful gout attacks, Dr. Sardinas has extensive training and experience in treating gout and can reduce your risk of future gout attacks and other complications.
Which treatments are available for gout?
Dr. Sardinas might perform a joint fluid test, blood test, X-ray, or other diagnostic procedure to diagnose you with gout before starting your treatment. With an official, accurate diagnosis, he prescribes one or more medications to treat current gout attacks and prevent future attacks. Some medicines that treat gout are:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Medicines that stop or slow uric acid production
- Uricosurics (medications that help your kidneys remove uric acid from your blood)
Additionally, Dr. Sardinas can give you the guidance you need to make helpful dietary changes and other adjustments to your home life to improve gout.
If you have severe or frequent gout attacks, call Alfredo Sardinas Jr MD PA, for an appointment or book online today.