What Causes Gout?

Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

Common symptoms of gout may include severe pain, tenderness, and redness in the big toe and surrounding areas. It is considered to be a type of arthritis, and typically affects middle-aged men. It originates from a buildup of uric acid in the body, and may derive from certain foods including liver and seafood. The onset of gout occurs when the body has difficulty processing uric acid, and research has shown that it lodges in specific joints. The most common area for this to occur is in the big toe, and it often produces extreme pain and discomfort. There may be several reasons for gout to develop,  including ingesting excess alcohol, being overweight, or from having a strong family history. It may be necessary for a proper diagnosis to be performed, which may include extracting a sample of the fluid that builds up between the joints. Acquiring knowledge about the prevention of gout may be beneficial in avoiding attacks in the future, and this may include choosing foods with lower uric acid levels.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Marc Keys from Marc. S. Keys, DPM. 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 one of our offices located in Jackson and Adrian, MI. 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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