Tuesday, 08 November 2022 00:00

Causes and Risks of Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that results in joint pain and swelling in the joints and frequently attacks the big toe. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood that forms crystals in the joints. If ignored, gout can result in serious health issues affecting the kidneys and may permanently damage the joints. The main cause of high uric acid in the blood is that it is not being flushed out properly. Genetics is thought to be the number one contributor to this. Other factors include underlying health issues and side effects of certain medication. You may be at higher risk of developing gout if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, and eat foods rich in purines. Men over 40 and women in menopause are also at greater risk of developing gout. If you have two or more gout attacks in your toe within a year, it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist. A number of medical treatments are available to keep the uric acid levels down. Changes to diet and weight reduction may also be recommended.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Patrick Bruton, DPM from Big Country foot and Ankle. Our doctor 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 office located in Abilene, Brownwood, and Colorado City, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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