PKD Life - Fall 2022 - 4

Gout is a form of arthritis that
causes intense pain and can
limit range of motion. The
classic site of involvement is the
big toe, but gout can occur in
the ankle, knee, finger, any joint,
and sometimes multiple joints.
The condition is caused by a
buildup of uric acid in the joint.
This occurs because of elevated
levels of uric acid in the blood
and reduced solubility of the
uric acid.
" Kidney disease is a risk factor
for gout because uric acid
is excreted by the kidneys, " says
Dana Miskulin, M.D., a nephrologist
at Tufts Medical Center.
" As kidney function declines,
less uric acid is excreted and
blood levels of uric acid rise. "
It is important to point out
that elevated blood levels of
uric acid alone are not enough
to cause gout. So if you have
elevated blood levels of uric
acid, but have never had gout,
you do not need treatment to
prevent gout.
Here are a few tips on how to
prevent and treat attacks:
1 Stay well-hydrated. " My
gout usually flares up when I'm
not drinking enough water, " says
Geno Leage, who was diagnosed
with PKD in 2008 and gout 10
years later. Water flushes uric
acid out of the kidneys.
2 Avoid certain foods.
Foods containing purines
(such as organ meats, veal,
and certain kinds of seafood)
can exacerbate gout.
Beer has a very high
purine content and
should be avoided,
as should alcohol
in general. Highfructose
such as sodas and
sweetened fruit drinks, can also
be a problem, as purines are
released with the breakdown of
concentrated sugars.
3 Ask your doctor about
Pain in the
big toe is
a classic
medications. " Treatment of
an acute gout flare is directed
at reducing inflammation and
pain, " Dr. Miskulin says. She
recommends colchicine and,
if your kidney function is well
preserved, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs) to
reduce pain and inflammation
in acute gout. A short course
of corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone)
can be used for severe
attacks, especially if NSAIDs
cannot be used. If you get two
or more gout attacks per year,
doctors would start medication
to reduce uric acid levels in the
blood. The two most common
therapies are allopurinol and
febuxostat. They should not be
started during an acute gout
attack, as they can make an
acute attack more severe. All of
these drugs may have serious
side effects, so always talk to
your doctor about what drugs
and dosages are appropriate for
you, including NSAIDs (which
can cause kidney injury).
No matter what other health
problems you may have, it's
important to keep your brain in
good shape. The National Institute
on Aging offers these tips
on how to boost brain health:
Manage high
blood pressure
Keeping blood
pressure under
control is important
for many reasons,
brain health among
them. Research has
shown that having
high blood pressure
in middle age
(over 120/80) may
increase the risk of
cognitive decline
later in life.
Eat healthy
There is some
evidence that following
the Mediterranean
diet may
reduce the risk
of dementia. The
diet emphasizes
foods like fatty fish,
whole grains, fruits,
and vegetables.
Keep your
mind active
Any type of mentally
activity, such as
reading, playing
games, and learning
something new, is
good for mental and
cognitive health.
These won't prevent
dementia, but they
may help the brain
adapt to age-related
brain changes.
Stay social
Make an effort
to spend time
with friends and
family on a regular
basis. Some
studies suggest
that regularly
engaging with
others can improve
cognitive function.
4 PKD LIFE * FALL 2022

PKD Life - Fall 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PKD Life - Fall 2022

PKD Life - Fall 2022 - Cover1
PKD Life - Fall 2022 - Cover2
PKD Life - Fall 2022 - Contents
PKD Life - Fall 2022 - 2
PKD Life - Fall 2022 - 3
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PKD Life - Fall 2022 - Cover3
PKD Life - Fall 2022 - Cover4