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What Is Gout Caused By?

Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

If the joint surrounding your big toe becomes inflamed and irritated, you may have a condition that is known as gout. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis and typically causes severe pain and discomfort. Many patients experience gout attacks, which can occur suddenly and can last for extended periods of time. Some of the symptoms that are associated with gout may include heat emanating from the affected toe, redness, and swelling. Gout is generally caused by a condition that is known as hyperuricemia. This is the medical term given when there is excess uric acid in the blood levels. Uric acid comes from purines, which can be found in certain foods. If there is too much uric acid in the body, crystals may form in the joints of the big toe. This causes gout to develop. Gout can be managed when certain lifestyle changes are made, including making healthy eating choices and following a light exercise program. If you have gout, it may be considered to speak to a podiatrist.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. 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 Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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