The medical condition that is known as gout develops as a result of excess uric acid in the blood. This may cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Common symptoms that are typically associated with this condition can include swelling surrounding the affected area, redness, and extreme tenderness. This ailment can come from genetic factors, or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. When these types of foods are eaten, uric acid levels may increase. Foods that fall into this category can include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, and drinks that have excess sugar levels. There are measures that can be implemented which may help to prevent gout from developing. These can consist of eating healthier foods, losing weight, and drinking plenty of water daily. If you have gout, it is advised that you consult with 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 one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.