The medical condition that is known as gout can be uncomfortable. This form of arthritis generally causes severe pain and discomfort in the big toe and surrounding areas. The pain comes from the joints, and is caused by elevated uric acid levels in the blood. Many patients who experience gout attacks equate the pain to needle-like sensations, and it may be painful if anything touches the toe. Symptoms of this condition often include redness and swelling around the affected joints. Research has indicated that this ailment can develop from genetic traits, or from certain foods that are eaten. These can include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have large amounts of sugar in them. A proper diagnosis can consist of having a blood test performed which may be helpful in determining the amount of uric acid that is present. Additionally, it may be beneficial to use a needle to remove a portion of the crystals from the painful joints. If you have been afflicted with gout attacks, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly 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 Westland, MI.. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout