Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain that accompanies this condition. The part of the foot that is most often affected is the side of the big toe. When a gout attack occurs, the joints in the big toe become inflamed and produce severe pain and discomfort. A common reason why gout attacks occur can be a result of foods that are eaten that have elevated purine levels. These types of foods can include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have high sugar levels. This may play a significant role in causing crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and it may become red and swollen. Genetic factors may contribute to the onset of gout, in addition to existing medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Preventive measures can be implemented that may help reduce gout attacks from occurring. These can consist of eating healthy foods that have low purine levels, and incorporating a gentle exercise program into your daily routine. If you are prone to experiencing gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout