Gout is the result of crystals that form in the joints because of excess uric acid in the blood. Over the years, this type of arthritis has had many myths associated with it. It was often thought to be a condition that wealthy people who can afford to overindulge in rich foods may be afflicted with. This has been proven to be untrue because this condition may affect people of different income levels. Recent research has shown that it may be related to genetics in addition to elevated blood pressure or contending with weight issues which may raise cholesterol. An additional myth is gout only affects the big toe. While this is the toe that is typically afflicted, the crystals may form in other parts of the body. Many people are under the assumption that once you have gout, you’ll always be susceptible to this ailment. It has been proven that with proper dietary and lifestyle changes, gout attacks may considerably diminish and may even cease completely. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to gout, or have any questions, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.
Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Footcare 2 You, Inc. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in West Orange, Toms River, Bloomfield, and Elmwood Park, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.