Causes of Gout
There is no mistaking the pain that comes from having gout. There are people that develop gout who experience pain that is so debilitating that they may not be able to walk up the steps. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis that can happen from genetic reasons, or from eating foods that have high levels of purines. These types of foods include excessive amounts of shellfish, red meat, or drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. This may cause a build-up of uric acid in the blood, which converts into crystals, and can lodge in the joints of the big toe. People who have existing medical conditions may be prone to getting gout. These can include high blood pressure, diabetes, or who are overweight. Gout attacks can be prevented by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into the daily regime. This can consist of engaging in a gentle stretching and exercise program, and drinking plenty of water. Additionally, it is important to include fruits and vegetables in the meals, while limiting foods with excess purines. If you have developed gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you treatment and prevention techniques.
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 Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.