The symptoms that are associated with gout can include debilitating pain and inflamed joints in the big toe. Many patients have swelling and redness, and it can be difficult to walk. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis, and can be caused by genetic factors. Additionally, eating foods that have high levels of purines may lead to getting gout. Purines break down into uric acid which can form crystals in the joints of the big toe. These types of foods may include red meat, shellfish, or drinking large amounts of alcohol. A proper diagnosis typically consists of extracting a sample of fluid from the inflamed joint, and having it analyzed. Effective prevention methods can consist of drinking plenty of water daily, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and limiting the amount of red meat, shellfish, and alcohol from the eating routine. Please contact a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can help you manage the pain from gout and offer you additional prevention methods.
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 Wallington, Cranford, and Fort Lee, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.