Gout is a common type of arthritis, affecting up to 9.2 million Americans. At NYC Foot & Ankle Center in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood of the Upper West Side, expert podiatrists Diana Valencia, DPM, Emmanuel Bustos, DPM, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating gout with safe and effective therapies. Healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication can prevent the condition from worsening, instead relieving your pain and restoring mobility. Call the office in New York City today to schedule gout treatment, or book your visit online.
Arthritis is a blanket term for more than 100 diseases that cause joint pain and stiffness.
Gout is unique in that it’s caused by the buildup of urate crystals, which form when there’s lots of uric acid in your blood. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down certain foods that are high in purines, like seafood and red meat. This is a perfectly normal process.
However, if you eat too much of these items or consume alcohol excessively, your kidneys struggle to eliminate the uric acid from your blood.
When uric acid reaches higher-than-normal levels, it forms sharp, needle-like crystals inside joints and the surrounding tissues. These crystals can form anywhere, but they’re most common in the feet, specifically the big toe.
Gout symptoms include:
Make an appointment with the NYC Foot & Ankle Center team if you have intense joint pain that doesn’t improve with at-home care. Left untreated, gout worsens, increasing the risk of permanent joint damage.
Your NYC Foot & Ankle Center provider asks about your symptoms and completes an exam, checking your big toe joint and the surrounding skin for redness and swelling. They gently press on your big toe to identify sensitive areas and assess the toe’s alignment and range of motion.
Your provider orders lab work, including blood and joint fluid tests. A blood test assesses the amount of uric acid in your blood, while a joint fluid test checks for uric acid crystals. They also complete an ultrasound and X-rays, looking for joint damage and uric acid crystals.
The NYC Foot & Ankle Center team treats gout using a combination of prescription medication and healthy lifestyle changes. Depending on the severity of your gout, they might prescribe:
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight to reduce the frequency of gout attacks. It’s also important to avoid foods high in purines and reduce consumption of alcohol and other sugary drinks.
To receive gout treatment, call NYC Foot & Ankle Center today, or book your visit online.