An excess amount of uric acid in the body can lead to a painful condition that is known as gout. This condition is considered to be a form of arthritis and can cause difficulty in walking. It can occur as a result of elevated purine levels which may happen for several reasons including genetics, eating large amounts of shellfish, red meat, and drinking sugary beverages. Additionally, obesity may contribute significantly to the onset of gout. Many patients experience severe pain in the joints surrounding the big toe as a result of inflammation. A proper diagnosis can consist of extracting a small amount of fluid from that affected area. This is followed by viewing it under a microscope to look for uric acid crystals. Mild relief may be found when healthy foods are incorporated into your diet and from taking specific medications that can ease the pain and discomfort of gout. If you are prone to developing gout, it is strongly recommended that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively 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 Saint Petersburg, FL. . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Gout