Patients who are afflicted with gout often experience severe pain and discomfort in the big toe and surrounding areas. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition can include swelling, tenderness, and inflammation. It is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream, and this can produce crystals that lodge in the joints of the big toe. Patients who have existing medical conditions may be more susceptible to contracting gout. These can include diabetes, poor kidney function, high blood pressure, and obesity. Additionally, eating foods that are high in purine levels can lead to gout. These can consist of excessive red meat, seafood, and alcohol. If you have this painful condition, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.
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 office located in North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.