Gout is a form of arthritis and it can create debilitating pain. It affects the joints in the big toe and it is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. This converts to crystals and lodges in the toe joints. There are specific foods that have high levels of purines in them that can lead to gout, consisting of red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and drinks that are made with large levels of sugar. The pain can last for several minutes or hours and is referred to as gout attacks. To obtain a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may take a sample of the fluid in the joints to determine how to manage long-term gout. There are effective prevention techniques that may eliminate painful gout attacks. These include eating healthy foods daily, reducing alcohol intake, and incorporating a gentle exercise routine. If you would like additional information about how to manage gout and methods that may prevent it, please consult with a podiatrist.
Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC will treat your podiatric needs.
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.