Gout is a kind of arthritis characterized by sudden extreme pain and burning sensation of the joint. About half of all gout cases affect the big foot and are more common in men than women. Patients often complain of feeling like their foot or big toe is on fire. What causes gout? Gout is what occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood. The imbalance in uric acid can be caused by improper diet or some medications.
In addition to the burning and pain in the joints, other gout symptoms can include extreme tenderness, localized redness, and the joint might be warm to the touch. Gout will likely continue to occur until you seek treatment; however, there are treatments available. Do these symptoms sound familiar? Contact South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers today for a comprehensive examination and treatment for gout. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Royal Palm Beach or at any one of our six locations throughout the Palm Beaches. Call 561-793-6170 to speak with a staff member.
What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Excessive drinking, improper diet, and certain medications can cause the imbalance of uric acid in the blood. The excessive uric acid causes a build-up of urate crystals that form in the joint and cause arthritic joint pain. Patients with gout experience a sudden and severe onset of joint pain. The pain is usually so acute that it feels like the affected joint is on fire. Gout most often affects the joint of the big toe and is more common among men.
Symptoms of Gout
Gout is usually characterized by the sharp, sudden, and burning pain of a joint during the night. Other gout symptoms include swelling, redness, and extreme tenderness. The pain is usually most severe for the first day or two and can ease up a little bit, but joint discomfort will likely continue. More gout attacks will continue to occur until you seek treatment.
Treatments for Gout
Unlike most kinds of arthritis, there is a treatment for gout that can relieve the symptoms and prevent future attacks. To address the acute pain symptoms first, medications can be prescribed that reduce pain and inflammation. Lifestyle changes can prevent future problems with gout if your diet is the cause of the uric acid imbalance. Drinking plenty of water and taking Vitamin C in addition to dietary changes can help. There are also medications available that can help maintain normal uric acid levels in your blood. This can prevent future attacks of gout and also reduce the possibility of complications, such as kidney stones.
What should you expect when visiting South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers for gout treatment? Our doctors’ first priority is to address your concerns and make you feel comfortable. All of our doctors have specialized training and have a great deal of clinical experience so they are able to give you all of the information that you need to help you make an informed decision, understand the options, and be an active part of your treatment plan. In order to diagnose gout, your podiatrist will conduct a physical exam, a blood test, and a joint fluid test. You should be prepared to discuss the level of pain, when pain occurs, and how long you have been experiencing discomfort. Your doctor will also need to know about any other diagnoses you have, your lifestyle, and family history.