Gout is a painful type of arthritis that occurs due to high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. It frequently affects the joints of the feet, particularly in the big toe. A gout flareup can be extremely painful, swollen, red, and warm. Gout is thought to be at least partially hereditary, but co-occurring medical conditions and certain lifestyle factors can also trigger a gout attack. People who have a history of heart failure, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are at an increased risk of gout. People who are obese, take diuretic medications, drink alcohol, consume sugary foods and beverages, or eat foods rich in purines, such as red meat and certain types of seafood, are also at risk. If you have suffered a gout attack, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for treatment and prevention strategies.
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 Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.