Severe pain that is experienced in the big toe and surrounding areas may be a condition referred to as gout. Since this condition is considered to be a form of arthritis, the joints in the toe may be stiff, causing difficulty in freely moving the foot. Research has shown the inflammation that typically accompanies this ailment originates from an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream. This is typically caused by crystals in the blood that lodge in the joints, and may form from the type of foods that are ingested. Research suggests that eating excess amounts of seafood, red meat or drinking alcohol may be contributing factors in developing gout. Other reasons may include a genetic trait, obesity, or health issues which involve the kidneys. It is beneficial to have a proper diagnosis performed which is often accomplished by undergoing an ultrasound or CT scan. If you are suffering from gout, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly facilitate in implementing correct treatment methods.
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 offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout