Speaker 1: Time now to answer some common health questions, and joining me is News Channel 5’s Medical Expert, Dr. David Soria, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Wellington Regional Medical Center. And thank you for coming in today.
Speaker 2: You betcha.
Speaker 1: Always good to see you.
Speaker 2: Thank you.
Speaker 1: Here’s our first question. It’s about gout. What is gout and the best way to prevent it.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Well, gout is a form of arthritis. And it’s very common. Over two million people in our country have it. And what it is, it’s an accumulation of uric acid that is in the blood stream, and that then forms crystals that deposit within the joint. Now that could be incredibly painful. And it typically involves the big toe or the knees.
So what really causes it? Well, typically it’s genetic. But it can be caused from a number of different things, increased alcohol, excess meat, seafood that is high in purines, then there’s also certain medications that can do it as well like diuretics or water pills.
So what can you do to prevent it?
Speaker 1: Right. What controls it?
Speaker 2: Well, the good news is that there are some effective medications that are on the market that you can talk to your doctor about that lower the uric acid in your blood stream. But also, if you’re obese, make sure you lose some weight. If you like to eat a lot of meat or seafood, definitely need to cut down on that. And then, also, other medications that can contribute to it, make sure you talk to your doctor, and he or she will ensure that if you do have gouty episodes, that they will remove those from your regimen and maybe replace them with something else.
Speaker 1: All right. You say seafood, even fish. I mean it’s not just shellfish and things like that.
Speaker 2: That’s right. [crosstalk 00:01:26] It’s all different kinds of seafood that actually have that purine that can increase your uric acid.
Speaker 1: All right. Next up. People can be allergic to peanuts. Can they also be allergic to salt?
Speaker 2: Yeah. We get this quite a bit.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: And believe it or not, salt is only sodium chloride. And sodium and chloride are two essential elements in your body. So you cannot be allergic to those two elements because the definition of an allergy is the body’s response against something that’s foreign or an allergen in your system. So a lot of people confuse salty foods or having consistent salty foods with an allergy to salt. There’s so many different allergens in salty foods that it’s very difficult to sometimes pinpoint …
Speaker 1: Isolate it, right?
Speaker 2: You bet. So many times that’s where the confusion is. Also, salt, in and of itself, that’s on the market, different types of salt, sea salt, has preservatives in it or other ingredients that you can also have an allergy to. So if you’re having consistent allergic reactions to salty foods or salt itself, make sure you see your doctor, or an allergen, and he or she will definitely try and clear things up, literally speaking, and see if they can get to the bottom of that.
Speaker 1: All right. Salt, very popular, and we as Americans use way too much salt.
Speaker 2: It’s in ev …
Speaker 1: But is a little salt okay?
Speaker 2: A little salt is fine. As a matter of fact, your body absolutely needs it. So without question.
Speaker 1: All right. Good to know. Okay.
If you have a question for Dr. Soria, you can send it in by going to our website. It’s WPTB.com and clicking on the Health link. Scroll down, and on the right-hand side, you will see a form to write your question.
All right. Thank you, as always, for coming in.
Speaker 2: You’re welcome.
Speaker 1: We’ll see you next time around.
Speaker 2: You …