People worldwide can develop the painful foot condition that is known as gout. However, research has shown it is more prevalent among men. It is an ailment that happens as a result of excess uric acid levels in the blood, and it can come from the foods that are eaten. These can include red meats, shellfish, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. Additionally, it may happen for genetic reasons, or if there has been an organ transplant. The excess uric acid will form into crystals in the joints of the big toe, and this can cause debilitating pain. Gout attacks may be limited or avoided when healthy lifestyle changes are implemented. These can consist of drinking plenty of water daily and engaging in a gentle exercise program. Additionally, it is beneficial to eat regular servings of fruits and vegetables, and update existing medications that may increase the risk of getting gout. If you suffer from this condition, it is strongly urged that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage it.
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 Oradell, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.