A reddened, painful, and swollen big toe can be the result of a type of arthritis called gout. This uncomfortable condition is caused by an overabundance of uric acid in the body. If not properly eliminated through the kidneys, uric acid can collect in the joints, where it crystallizes. The result is pain that flares up suddenly and stays active for up to a week or more. Risk factors for developing gout include age, diet, obesity, and genetics. Gout cannot be cured, but it can be treated by a foot doctor who is a specialist in dealing with this condition. Treatment options include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, changes in diet, and certain lifestyle modifications. One of the best methods of preventing gout flare-ups is reducing the amount of purines in the foods that are eaten. Seafood, red meat, shellfish, and drinks sweetened with large amounts of sugar fall into this category. Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages and caffeine also helps, along with increasing exercise, drinking more water, and losing weight. For professional help in managing gout attacks, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.
People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.
Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.
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 and ankle needs.