Gout is a type of arthritis that is characterized by redness, tenderness, swelling of the joints, limited movement, and severe pain. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a product of purines, an ingredient in many rich foods, such as seafood, meat, sweet beverages, and alcohol. Crystallization of purines can cause kidney stones, painful arthritis, and the buildup of uric acid crystals in the feet. One with gout can experience intense joint pain that usually affects the large joint in the big toe of the foot as well as other joints of the foot. The pain is worse when it starts and can last from a few days to a few weeks. It can feel like a burning sensation. Other factors that increase uric acid in the body and can cause gout symptoms are obesity, genetic predisposition, gender (with men being more prone to gout than women), and other medical conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure. If you suspect you have gout, see a podiatrist as soon as possible who can make sure the diagnosis is correct and provide treatment to restore you to pain-free functioning.
Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Kimberly Woodard, DPM from Pinnacle Foot and Ankle Centers, LLC . Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
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 Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.