January 23 at 7:16 AM • Comments: 0 • Views: 8424

Humidity: Can Humidity Really Worsen Your Gout Symptoms?

Yes. A recent study has shown that high heat and humidity can worsen your gout, even double your chances of experiencing a gout attack.

What Is Gout?

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid, an ingredient found in the blood stream. Uric acid is usually passed through the kidneys and out of the body. When uric acid builds up, called hyperuricemia, it collects and eventually forms crystals surrounding the joints and causing severe pain.

If it's not treated, gout will cause damage to the joints and tendons. Men are more likely to have gout than women, but post-menopause women are more likely to have it than younger women.

What Can Worsen My Gout?

There are many factors than can trigger a gout flare-up. Dehydration is a common factor, as is obesity. Males are more likely to have gout, and those with a family history are much more likely to experience it. Alcohol consumption as well as eating high purine foods such as red meat and seafood may trigger gout. Medications like aspirin, diuretics, immune system suppressants and chemotherapy are also triggers. Certain illnesses increase the risk as well as injury and infections in the joints.

Humidity Can Worsen Gout Symptoms

Just as heat can affect gout, so can humidity. A recent study has shown that men who had a history of gout were twice as likely to have a gout attack when the humidity was high. A dew point of 64 to 77 F seems to trigger gout symptoms, though barometric pressure and precipitation levels do not affect it.

Easing Your Gout Pain

Your doctor may prescribe medications to ease the pain and reduce your risk of gout. NSAIDs or steroids can ease the pain and control inflammation. There are uric lowering medications which block uric adic production in the body. Another medication will help your body eliminate the uric acid, but it has side effects of rash, stomach pain and kidney stones.

Alternative Options For Easing Gout Pain

Some studies show that coffee may reduce the risk of gout, but only in larger quantities. Participants who drank four or more cups of coffee per day showed a decreased risk. Doctors do not recommend coffee drinking as a form of treatment. Vitamin C may reduce the amount of uric acid, but large quantities of vitamin C may have the opposite effect. Cherries have been associated with low levels of uric acid, but again, this hasn't been proven. Your best advice would be to follow a doctor's  plan, and change factors you can control through diet and exercise.

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gout/DS00090/DSECTION=1

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/56501.php

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