Who Gets Gout?
If you have suffered a gout attack, chances are you won’t soon forget it. At Goldsmith Podiatry, patients with gout describe intense pain in a joint, most often the big toe, accompanied by swelling, redness, and heat as the characteristic symptoms of this condition which is considered a type of arthritis. Gout occurs due to an excess of uric acid that builds up and then crystallizes in the joints. Uric acid forms as a result of the breakdown of chemicals known as purines. Purines are found naturally in the body. Some people produce too much uric acid and others have difficulty eliminating the appropriate amounts of uric acid from their body. Factors that increase your risk for gout include:
Being a male between the ages of 40 and 60
Consuming foods and beverages that contain high levels of purines. These include shellfish, organ meats (liver, kidney), red meat, red wine, beer, and rich sauces.
A family history of gout
High blood pressure
Certain vitamins, such as niacin and some medications like aspirin and diuretics
Treating and Preventing Gout
Our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith and Dr. Rosanna Troia, will want to evaluate the condition of the affected joint and may order x-rays or laboratory tests to make sure another disorder isn’t causing the joint inflammation. The foot doctor will also want to know your family medical history and may have questions about the foods that you’ve recently eaten.
Once a diagnosis of gout is confirmed, medication or injections can be prescribed that will reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammation. The foot doctor may also recommend that you rest and elevate the affected foot. Over the course of three to ten days, gout should go away. You can reduce your risk of future attacks by observing the following precautions:
Avoid the foods listed above that are known gout triggers
Drink plenty of fluids to flush uric acid out of your body
Review the medications and vitamins you are currently taking with the foot doctor to be sure none of them are potentially the cause of gout