Arthritis can develop in many different forms. The build up of crystals that form in and around the joints is a symptom of arthritis commonly referred to as gout. Gout is particularly painful and most commonly affects the big toe. Some symptoms that indicate you might have developed gout include heat, tenderness, pain, swelling, and redness of the affected joint. You may also notice that the skin over the affected joint may appear shiny, and can begin to peel overtime. Gout typically develops due to an increase of urate crystals that spill out from the cartilage and into the space between the bones and joints. This build up of crystals can lead to what is referred to as a gout attack. For information about treating gout and relieving its symptoms, we recommend that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and advice.
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.