Gout is a painful form of arthritis that frequently develops in the joint at the base of the big toe. At Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic, which has four locations in Pocatello, Soda Springs, Idaho Falls, and Montpelier, Idaho, as well as two in Thayne and Jackson, Wyoming, podiatrists Adam Matthews, DPM, and Karson Howard, DPM, treat and help prevent gout. This condition often develops suddenly, so it’s important to seek proper care before your next gout flare-up. To learn more about gout, call Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.
Gout is a type of arthritis that stems from a buildup of crystallized uric acid in the affected joint. While gout can develop in any joint, it’s most common in the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout pain can be sudden and intense, often waking you up in the middle of the night. Once gout develops, you’re more likely to experience additional flare-ups.
A gout flare-up can develop gradually or suddenly, and typically it affects only one joint at a time. Common symptoms of gout include:
Even after your attack subsides, gout can leave behind lingering soreness and general discomfort in the affected joint.
Gout is the direct result of uric acid crystallizing in the affected joint. Normally, uric acid crystals filter through your kidneys after dissolving in your blood. However, high levels of uric acid can lead to a buildup that deposits in your joints, causing severe inflammation and pain.
Common risk factors for increased uric acid crystals include:
Carrying excess weight typically means your body produces higher levels of uric acid. Too much uric acid in the body is difficult for the kidneys to pass.
Certain foods and beverages that are high in purines can increase your risk of gout, including red meat, shellfish, soda, and alcohol.
Men naturally produce more uric acid than women and are at an increased risk of gout. However, after menopause, women’s uric acid levels tend to increase substantially.
Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension (high blood pressure), increase your risk of gout.
If you’re experiencing a gout flare-up, anti-inflammatory medications can alleviate pain and swelling. To prevent and treat your gout symptoms, your podiatrist at Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic may recommend:
Certain medications can also block uric acid production in your body or accelerate its removal from your kidneys.
To learn more about gout, call Ambulatory Foot & Ankle Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.