Adjust your diet. Limit foods that contain a high level of a substance called purines. These include: Meat, (particularly game meats like venison or organ meats like liver) Seafood, Lentils and dried beans Certain vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, and green peas.

2) Swap beer for water. Alcohol contains a lot of purines, particularly beer, so limit your alcohol consumption. On the other hand, staying hydrated with plenty of water—experts recommend 8 glasses a day—can flush uric acid from the body.

3) Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight is a risk factor for gout, so getting to a healthy weight can decrease the risk for a flare-up. But lose weight gradually, because drastic weight loss is also raises the risk for an attack.

If you are experiencing more frequent or severe gout flare-ups, you can also talk with your doctor about taking a prescription medication. There are a few medications that have proven effective in preventing gout attacks.

When joints create a grinding or popping sound or sensation, this is known as crepitus. Occasional joint crepitus is considered normal and is no cause for alarm. However, a large new study suggests that frequent knee crepitus may be an early warning sign of knee osteoarthritis.

The study included nearly 3,500 middle-age individuals with no initial symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and tracked them for 2 years. Researchers found that participants who reported having no knee pain, but frequent or constant knee crepitus, were at higher risk for having symptoms of osteoarthritis within a year.

This was especially true for those with physical signs of knee degeneration (via X-ray results) at the beginning of the study—despite making up only 26% of the total study group, 75% of them went on to develop symptoms of osteoarthritis.

More research is needed to establish what the connection is between frequent crepitus and osteoarthritis. But crepitus’s possible role as a warning sign of osteoarthritis means that people who experience frequent crepitus can take measures to protect their joints.

Osteoarthritis can’t be cured or prevented, but the sooner treatment and exercise starts, the easier it is to manage symptoms and slow degeneration.

Bone spurs are sometimes called by their medical names, osteophytes and enthesophytes. Experts suggest both types of bone spurs are a reaction to skeletal stress.

1) Osteophytes are typically found at the edge of a bone at a joint. They are considered to be the result of friction and stress on the bone, and are often associated with osteoarthritis.

2) Enthesophytes are bone spurs that develop where ligament or tendon insert into a bone. (The site of attachment of soft tissue into bone is called an enthesis.) Enthesophytes may develop because of tight ligaments and tendons rubbing against bone, a soft tissue injury, or an inflammatory disease.

People do not always make the distinction between osteophytes and enthesophytes; Enthesophytes may sometimes be called osteophytes.

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