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What Causes Gout Attacks?

Monday, 13 May 2019 00:00

The symptoms that are associated with gout often involve severe pain located at the base of the big toe. If a gout attack suddenly occurs, it may last for several weeks, and it may not develop again for a significant amount of time. The affected area is typically swollen and can feel sensitive when touched. Gout is a result of elevated uric acid levels in the bloodstream and is produced by eating foods that are high in purine levels. These types of foods include red meat, shellfish, and alcohol, if consumed in large amounts. Some patients may have existing medical conditions that can play a significant role in developing gout. These can include diabetes, high blood pressure, or poor kidney function. Research has shown that there are measures that can be implemented to potentially prevent gout attacks. Maintaining a regular exercise regime and incorporating healthy eating habits into your life can help limit painful gout attacks. If you are afflicted with this ailment, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat gout.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 Mt Airy, Clemmons, Winston-Salem, and King, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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