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What Causes Gout?

Gout is commonly known to be a very painful condition that affects the big toe and the surrounding areas. It is considered to be a form of arthritis and may often occur as an acute attack. The specific cause of gout is the formation of excess crystals, which collect in the blood stream and commonly develop in the joints of the feet. This may often be the result of ingesting foods that have excess purines, which are often responsible for the production of uric crystals. These types of foods may include indulging in an overabundance of alcohol, red meat, and shellfish. The pain that is associated with this ailment is typically a result of stiff joints, and is often accompanied by tenderness, swelling, and redness. Gout attacks may be avoided by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes, which may lower the level of uric acid in the blood. If you are experiencing a gout attack, it’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information and a proper diagnosis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield 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 our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. 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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