The medical condition that is referred to as gout is a form of arthritis, which may affect the joints in the big toe. This condition may typically be associated with severe pain and discomfort and is the result of excess uric acid in the blood levels. Crystals will form in the joints of the big toe and the pain may be debilitating until this ailment subsides. There are several causes for this condition to develop, including a family history of gout and ingesting foods that are high in purine levels. These foods may include eating excess shellfish, red meat, or drinking an overabundance of alcohol. Research has shown that stress, specific medications, or a prolonged illness may play a significant role in developing gout. If you feel you have this condition, it is advised to speak with a podiatrist who can properly treat this uncomfortable 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 Fair Lawn and Riverdale, New Jersey. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Gout