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How Do I Know if I Have Gout?

Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

The general cause of a condition referred to as gout is an excess of uric acid that accumulates in the body. The big toe is typically affected, and obvious symptoms may include intense pain, swelling, and redness in the surrounding areas. It will often appear as an inflamed protrusion on the side of the big toe, and may affect the ability to walk. Research has shown that it may be a controllable condition and may occur because of the foods that are ingested. There may be several  items that may fall into this category, including the consumption of red meat, an excessive salty foods, and any type of shellfish. Drinking excess alcohol may also lead to the development of gout, in addition to a family history of high blood pressure. Occasionally, there may be specific medical conditions in which the body has difficulty eliminating uric acid, such as kidney or thyroid ailments. The treatment for gout can vary, so it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from New England Foot and Ankle. 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.

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 Chelmsford, Newburyport, and Lawrence, MA. 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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