The medical condition that is referred to as gout is often accompanied by severe pain and discomfort. The joint in the big toe is typically affected, and common symptoms include redness, tenderness, and difficulty in moving the toe. Many patients experience signs of gout suddenly without warning, and it frequently happens at night. This condition is caused by excess uric levels that are in the bloodstream, and may occur from specific foods that are eaten. These can include foods that have elevated levels of purines which may produce crystals that lodge in the joints of the big toe. Mild relief may be found from this debilitating pain by taking anti-inflammatory medication. Additionally, it is helpful to incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine, and this may prevent severe gout attacks from occurring in the future. If you are afflicted with gout, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you to manage these attacks.
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 Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Gout