Excess uric acid in the blood may cause a condition that is known as gout. This is considered to be a form of arthritis, and causes severe pain and discomfort as a result of inflammation in the joints. Gout generally affects the joints in the big toe, and can occur due to genetics, or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. These types of foods can include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. Gout can be common in patients who are obese, have diabetes, or kidney disorders. After a proper diagnosis is made, which can include having an X-ray taken or testing the blood for uric acid crystals, proper treatment can begin. If you are afflicted with gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you the right treatment options.
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 St. Augustine, Palm Coast, and Palatka, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Gout