Gout causes intense pain and swelling, and if you don’t take steps to control it, flare-ups can become a regular part of your life. At Desert Foot and Ankle in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, the team of board-certified podiatrists are experienced in diagnosing, treating, and preventing gout. To get help for a gout attack and guidance on managing the condition long-term, call or click to book a consultation today.
Gout is a type of arthritis, or joint inflammation, that usually affects the joint at the base of your big toe. A buildup of uric acid in the joint, which forms crystals, causes gout, leading to pain and inflammation. Normally, uric acid leaves your body through your urine, preventing it from accumulating.
Unlike many other forms of arthritis, you usually develop gout because of your diet. Most people with gout consume lots of:
Gout occurs most often in men between the ages of 40 and 50. In addition to the above dietary habits, many sufferers of gout are overweight, have high blood pressure, or take diuretics (water pills) for kidney problems.
It is possible that gout is at least partly genetic. If an immediate family member has had the condition, the above risk factors may affect you more.
A gout attack usually arrives suddenly, in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Gout attacks cause intense pain, usually in the base of your big toe, that feels as if the affected area is on fire. Additional symptoms in the affected joint include:
The pain is most severe within the first 36 hours of the attack, though you may be in at least some pain for 3-10 days. If you don’t take steps to reduce your uric acid levels, gout attacks increase in frequency and may occur several times a year. As the condition worsens, symptoms of attacks also last longer and spread beyond your big toe to other joints.
If your podiatrist at Desert Foot and Ankle determines that you have gout, they treat the symptoms of the attack while helping you to prevent future gout attacks.
To help you get fast relief from the pain, your podiatrist may prescribe pain relief medication or administer injections of steroid medication into the affected joint. If you’ve had multiple attacks, your podiatrist may also prescribe medication to control your uric acid levels.
In addition to medication, you can manage gout through dietary and lifestyle changes. Your podiatrist guides you to eat a diet low in foods that cause uric acid buildup and maintain a healthy weight. To ensure you’re keeping gout under control, your podiatrist may recommend regular blood tests to monitor your uric acid levels.
Don’t let gout become a regular part of your life. To get treatment for a gout attack and help to manage the condition, book an appointment at Desert Foot and Ankle online or over the phone.