There is a form of arthritis known as gout, which is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. It can be caused by eating foods that are high in purine levels. These can consist of shellfish, red meat, and drinks that have a large sugar content. Common symptoms that many patients experience can include swelling, redness, and severe pain in the big toe and surrounding areas. Mild relief may be found when the affected foot is rested, and it can help to refrain from wearing shoes. Obesity may be a contributing factor in developing gout so it is beneficial to lose weight by eating healthy foods, and by drinking plenty of fresh water daily. If you suffer from frequent gout attacks, it is advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can recommend the best treatment options for you.
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 Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.