Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. This acid can crystallize and become lodged in the joints of the feet, leading to sudden and intense pain, swelling, and inflammation. Gout typically flares up and then goes away, only to flare up again in the future. It can become a chronic condition if measures are not taken to prevent future flare ups. Chronic gout can cause large, visible bumps, called tophi, to form in bones, joints, or cartilage. Tophi are made of urate crystals and are usually not painful unless they become infected or press on a nerve. But although they’re not painful in and of themselves, tophi are problematic because they can damage joints, destroy cartilage, and eventually lead to bone erosion, deformity, and disability. For more information about gout, please consult with a podiatrist.
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.
- 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 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.