Gout, also known as gouty arthritis, is a condition caused by a buildup of the salts of uric acid, which is a normal byproduct of the diet, in the joints. A single big toe joint is the most commonly affected area, possibly because it is subject to so much pressure in walking. Attacks of gouty arthritis are extremely painful. Men are more likely to be afflicted than women. Diets heavy in red meat, rich sauces, shellfish, and brandy have been linked to gout. However, other protein compounds in foods, such as lentils and beans, may play a role.
More Risk Factors
While men are more likely to experience gout than women and certain diets can increase your risk, there are many other risk factors that can increase your chances of getting gout. These include:
- Medical conditions including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart and kidney disease
- Family history of gout
- Recent surgery or trauma
The main symptom of gout is waking up in the middle of the night with an acute throbbing pain in the big toe, which is swollen. The pain lasts for around three or four hours and then subsides. However, pain in the same toe usually returns within a few months. Symptoms of gout generally occur suddenly.
Some of the additional symptoms include:
- Intense joint pain
- Lingering discomfort
- Inflammation and redness
- Limited range of motion
Gout can be controlled with prescription medications, an improved diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. There are also many things that you can change in your daily life in order to prevent recurrent gout attacks.
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Limiting red meat, organ meats, and seafood
- Exercising regularly and losing weight
The application of ice or cooling lotions helps alleviate pain and swelling during the acute phase. In some cases, specially-made shoes are prescribed to relieve the pain associated with gout.
Note: Please consult with your physician before taking any medications.
If you think you may be suffering from gout or another uncomfortable foot condition, be sure to contact Dr. Nathan Lucas at Renuva Xtremity. Dr. Lucas and his team will do everything possible to help find the right treatment option for your feet.