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Signs and Symptoms of Gout

Tuesday, 04 January 2022 00:00

If you feel pain in the big toe that is accompanied with a burning sensation or reddened skin, you may be afflicted with a condition known as gout. The pain associated with gout tends to be the strongest when you are resting or lying down, but it may subside when you are actively moving around. Eventually, untreated gout can make it more and more difficult to perform everyday tasks that include standing, walking, or climbing stairs. Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body (hyperuricemia). Needle-like crystals form in the joints causing them to become red, swollen, or inflamed. This condition typically begins in the base of the big toe but can spread to other joints like the ankles and knees. Symptoms can last from one day up to a few months, but with the elimination of certain foods and other lifestyle changes, they can be managed. If you think you have gout it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist as soon as possible to receive a proper diagnosis and a medical treatment plan. 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. 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 Brunswick, ME . 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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