The pain from the arthritic condition, known as gout, is generally found in the joints of the big toe. It happens due to excess uric acid in the bloodstream that converts into crystals. People who eat large amounts of specific foods such as shellfish and red meat or that drink excessive amounts of alcohol may be prone to developing gout. Additionally, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease may develop gout, and immediate care is often needed. It may also occur for genetic reasons, and common symptoms of this condition can include extreme pain. Patients may notice the affected joints are tender and warm when touched. Prevention methods can include drinking plenty of water daily and consuming nutrient-rich foods. If you have developed gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat 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 our office located in Upper West Side, NYC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.