If you are experiencing severe pain in the joints surrounding the big toe, you may have a condition referred to as gout. It’s considered to be a form of arthritis, and the symptoms include redness, swelling, and extreme tenderness. Gout is the result of a buildup of excess uric acid in the body, and typically collects in the joints of the foot. These bouts of pain are typically known as gout attacks, and there may be several reasons for this to develop. The most common theory revolves around the food and drink that is consumed, which typically involves the frequent ingestion of red meat and excess alcohol. Additionally, inherited genetic traits may be a determining factor in the onset of gout. It’s important to consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist to learn about proper treatment options for gout.
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 Florence, Alabama. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout