Patients who experience gout attacks are aware of the severe and debilitating pain this condition may cause. It is considered to be a form of arthritis and typically affects the joints in the big toe. Some of the symptoms that are generally associated with gout include swelling on or near the affected joints, and it may often feel warm when touched. Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream, which is referred to as hyperuricemia. It may occur from genetic reasons, or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. These can consist of red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have an elevated sugar content. Additionally, existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and poor kidney function, may play significant roles in developing gout. If you are afflicted with this type of arthritis, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively 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 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