The medical condition referred to as gout is the result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood. The symptoms of this uncomfortable ailment may include severe pain surrounding the big toe, swelling, and redness. Research has shown there may be triggers that may cause gout including ingesting certain medications, a sudden illness, or an injury to the joint in the toe. Additionally, many gout patients may benefit from a healthy lifestyle change, such as eliminating specific foods and drinks from their daily intake. People who consume an excess of alcohol, or eat an abundance of red meat and shellfish may be more likely to develop gout and this may be a cause of inflated uric acid levels. A podiatrist can perform a proper diagnosis, which may include having an X-ray or CAT scan taken. This will enable the soft tissue and bone to be examined. Once this condition is confirmed, the correct treatment can begin.
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 one of our offices located in Liverpool, Camillus, Skaneateles, and Oswego, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout