The condition that is known as gout is considered to be a form of arthritis, and affects the joint under the big toe. Many people who suffer from this ailment often experience severe pain and stiffness, which will most likely begin during the night. Additional symptoms include extreme sensitivity when touched, as well as the joint appearing to be swollen and red. This condition occurs as a result of excess uric acid in the blood levels, which can cause crystals to form. These crystals can lodge into the joints of the body, and many patients notice symptoms of this in the big toe. Research has indicated the formation of these crystals can be caused by eating foods that have elevated levels of purines. These include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, and sugary beverages. If you are having gout attacks, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward beginning proper treatment, in addition to learning about 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 Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Gout