If you have had a gout attack, you know how painful it can be. Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid in your blood. Your body works every day to break down naturally-occurring purines, with uric acid as a waste product. The kidneys will get rid of the uric acid, but when there is too much it can form crystals in the bloodstream. If these settle into a joint, pain and inflammation will result. Often the crystals will move to the big toe joint, but a gout attack can also hit your ankles, wrists, fingers, elbows and knees.
The joint at the base of the big toe will become intensely painful, red, swollen, and warm. Any touch to the toe, even the pressure of a bedsheet, is intolerable. The attack will come on suddenly and last about 12 hours; however, some pain will linger along with warmth and swelling.
In the past, gout has been called “the rich man’s disease” as risk factors include eating a diet rich in meat and seafood and drinking alcohol. Other risk factors include:
To ease the symptoms of gout, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help. Icing the area can reduce painful swelling.
Reoccurrences of gout are likely without professional treatment, and may eventually limit the joint’s range of motion. Gout may also cause kidney stones. Prescription medication can help prevent a reoccurrence.
For any type of foot or ankle pain, call us. Foot pain is not normal! If you have pain from bunions or any other foot or ankle condition or have suffered any type of foot injury, please call Dr. Christopher M. Funk, Dr. Bradley A. Whitaker or Dr. Peter C. Merrill at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists. Our professional staff offers expert podiatry services at three Pima County offices: Tucson, Oro Valley and Green Valley. Please call us today at (520) 575-0800 to schedule your appointment.