If you are afflicted with the medical condition referred to as gout, it may be a result of specific lifestyle habits. It will typically affect the joint in the bottom of the big toe, and is considered to be a form of arthritis. It may develop when the uric acid levels in the blood are elevated, and crystals may commonly form in the joints of the feet. This may produce severe pain and discomfort, and performing daily activities that include walking and running may prove to be extremely difficult. In addition to genetic traits contributing as a factor, there are several reasons why excess uric acid may form in the blood. These may include ingesting an overabundance of alcohol, eating too much red meat or shellfish, or having an inadequate amount of vitamin C in your diet. Treatment techniques may include elevating the foot to reduce any swelling, or using anti-inflammatory medicines that may provide moderate relief. If you are afflicted with this condition, it’s strongly suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so a proper diagnosis can be performed and correct treatments options 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 our office located in Dallas, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.