Millions of people in the United States are affected by an arthritic condition known as gout. It develops as a result of excess levels of uric acid, which can happen due to genetic reasons or from eating certain foods. The first symptoms are often felt in the joints of the big toe and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The foods to avoid for patients who get frequent gout attacks include red meat, shellfish, excess alcohol, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. It is important to get a proper diagnosis, and this generally happens when uric acid levels are measured via a blood test, or from having an X-ray taken. People who are diabetic or overweight may be more susceptible to developing this condition. It is strongly suggested that patients who suffer from recurring gout be under the medical care of a podiatrist who can diagnose, treat, and manage this painful ailment.
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 Upper West Side, NYC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.