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Gout Pain and the Big Toe

Joint pain in the big toe and surrounding area could be indicative of gout. This is an arthritic condition that generally causes severe pain and discomfort, and many patients also find it difficult to walk. Common symptoms of gout can include swelling and redness around the affected joint, and it may be painful to move the toe. This condition is caused by excess uric acid in the blood, and it can occur from specific types of foods that are eaten. These can consist of foods that have high levels of purines, which may include shellfish, organ meats, and drinks that have elevated amounts of sugar. Research has shown that patients who are obese may be prone to developing gout as well. If you are afflicted with gout or experience gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively treat and manage this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle 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.

Symptoms

  • 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

Risk Factors

  • 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 one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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