Gout is caused by an overabundance of uric acid in the body which causes crystals to form in the joints. Uric acid is a by-product which is produced when purines found in foods like red meats, shellfish, red wine, beer, and salt are broken down. Reducing purines in your diet may also reduce the uric acid levels in your bloodstream, however it should be done gradually. Gout typically attacks the big toe joint most often, although it can form in any joint in the body. Gout can be extremely painful and also cause redness, swelling, and warmth over the affected joint. A podiatrist can examine you and test the uric acid levels in your bloodstream and joint fluid to make a proper diagnosis. They may try to help manage the pain of gout with anti-inflammatory medication, elevation, or possibly even surgery if the gouty crystals are excessive and the joint needs to be repaired.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.
- Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
- Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
- Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
- Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility
- Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
- Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
- Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
- Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
- Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
- Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout
Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Forest Lane and West Kiest Boulevard Dallas, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout