There is a small percentage of people worldwide who are affected by the foot condition that is known as gout. It is a form of arthritis and can cause debilitating pain and discomfort. Gout occurs due to excess uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid may be caused by eating foods with large amounts of purines. These can consist of shellfish, red meat, and sugary drinks. Gout may also occur from genetic reasons, and it may be more prevalent among men who are over 40 years old. The abundance of uric acid converts to crystals that lodge in the joints of the big toe, and in addition to the pain, there may be swelling and redness. The range of motion in the toe may be temporarily reduced, and the pain may radiate to the other joints. Gout attacks may be prevented when healthy foods are eaten, including vegetables, whole grain foods, and dairy products that are low in fat. If you suffer from gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage 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 Hicksville, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.