Severe pain in the big toe is a common symptom of gout. It is a form of arthritis that attacks the joints in the toes, and additional signs of this condition can include swelling and redness. The risk of getting gout may be increased by having existing medical ailments that can include diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Outside influences may consist of genetic factors, eating foods that have high purine levels, and drinking excess alcohol. Gout attacks may be prevented by eating healthy foods, and incorporating a gentle exercise program into your daily routine. It is important to drink plenty of water daily, as this may help to lower uric acid levels that can cause gout. If you are afflicted with gout, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage 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 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