Naturally, no one ever wants to experience joint pain. For many individuals, though, arthritis is considered to be an inevitable condition that happen as human age. While the risk of arthritis does increase during later years in life, arthritic conditions can actually strike individuals at any age. Gout is one example. This form of arthritis develops on account of the body’s digestion of certain foods and beverages. Understanding the condition will help you know what steps you can take to prevent gout and the pain that comes with it.
This is a complicated form of arthritisthat causes tenderness, redness, and severe, sudden attacks of pain (gout flares). These are most likely to occur in the joint where the big toe connects to the base of the foot. Attacks usually have a sudden onset and tend to happen in the middle of the night. The pain can be such that it feels as though the big toe is on fire. Any pressure or weight on the area (even a light bedsheet) can be rather unbearable.
As opposed to other types of arthritis, this arthritic condition happens when a byproduct of food breakdown is not properly flushed out of the system. When food is broken down, uric acid is the resulting byproduct.
The kidneys are responsible for filtering the excess out of the body via urine, but this doesn’t happen correctly for some people. Other people have bodies that produce too much uric acid. Either way, excess uric acid builds up in joints and form urate crystals, which are the cause of the sharp, stabbing pain.
Foods that can result in excess uric acid production contain more purines and include foods like organ meats, steak, and seafood. Other examples are refined carbohydrates, sweets, fructose, and alcohol (especially beer).
Fortunately, gout is treatable. When we administer professional treatment at our Texas offices, medication is often an important component that serves to both treat and prevent acute attacks. Examples of types that help include those that improve uric acid removal, various pain relievers, and medication to block or decrease uric acid production.
With regard to home treatment for gout, dietary and lifestyle changes can help as well. These include:
Although treatment methods can be effective for symptoms, it is better to take measures to prevent gout from developing in the first place. These measures include:
We can provide additional information on how to prevent gout, but don’t forget that Dallas Podiatry Works is here to help when this condition is causing pain. Our Dallas and Plano, TX practice places you in the best possible position for optimal health. Contact us by calling 972.566.7474, or use our online form to schedule your appointment today.