Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs due to a buildup of uric acid, which is a waste product usually found in the blood. This uric acid can build up because the kidneys do not excrete it fast enough, or because too much is made. The excess uric acid can then crystallize in the joints and lead to inflammation. While gout usually affects the big toe, it can affect any other joint in the body as well. Severe pain or swelling in the joints, redness of the skin around the joint, and limited movement of the joint can all be indicators of gout. Reducing alcohol intake, losing weight, having a balanced diet, and drinking enough water can reduce the risk of developing gout. If you believe that you are suffering from gout, consult with a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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.