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What Causes Gout?

Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

One form of arthritis, commonly referred to as gout, often produces severe pain and swelling in the big toe. There may be several causes of this condition, including an injury or illness that has happened or from ingesting excessive amounts of red meat and alcohol. When this occurs, uric acid in the body may produce excess crystals which lodge in the joints, and the toes are generally affected. A proper diagnosis may consist of knowing the intensity of the gout attack and learning about the patient's diet and regular medications. Additionally, an X-ray or similar may be performed to analyze the bones and soft tissues surrounding the affected toe. It’s suggested to consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for the discussion of proper treatment options that may include dietary changes.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Linda D. Nachmani from Central Foot & Ankle Associates. 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.

Symptoms

  • 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

Risk Factors

  • 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 Houston, and Pearland, 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
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