Gout is a condition that causes sudden, sharp pain in the toe joints, ankles, and knees. There are generally no symptoms prior to the first attack but becomes a recurring problem after the first attack. Depending on the severity of your condition, the pain may come and go more frequently. Our podiatrists in Dallas explain more below.
Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down purines, which are present in many foods, as well as the body. This can either be caused by the body producing too much uric acid, or the kidneys failing to filter it out properly. Uric acid then solidifies into crystals which get stuck in the joints, causing inflammation and triggering painful gout. The pain usually attacks the joint of the big toe, the ankle and the knee.
Some risk factors for gout include:
To avoid gout flare-ups, it’s important to reduce the intake of high-purine foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol. If you have a kidney condition or a thyroid condition that causes buildup of uric acid in the blood, get regular checkups with your doctor.
During a gout attack, ice and elevate the affected joint. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and simply rest. You can take ibuprofen for the pain.
It’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. There are medications that reduce uric acid levels and steroids that can help reduce pain in the joint. If left untreated, gout can damage your joints, limit your movement, and cause kidney damage. Other related health risks, like obesity, kidney disease, and heart disease, are more likely to occur or worsen.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about hammertoe and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact Dallas Podiatry Works, with a convenient podiatry office in Dallas, TX, by calling 972.564.8556 or by clicking here.