You’ve probably heard the term “gout,” but do you know how it can affect your feet? Amino acid is a byproduct created when the body breaks down purines present in some of the foods we eat, including meat. When it is not flushed from the body properly, it can collect and crystallize on the joints - typically the big toe joint - creating a condition called gout. Today Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing information regarding this disorder, including its symptoms and risk factors.
If gout remains untreated, lumps can form, which can be very painful and, in some cases, incapacitating. When the disease has advanced or infection has set in (and more traditional treatments haven’t worked), surgery may be necessary.
There are several surgical approaches to remove gouty masses and deposits while protecting the surrounding tissue. In severe cases when the joint is unstable or seriously damaged, joint fusion or replacement may be necessary to decrease pain.
What are the symptoms of gout and risk factors?
Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by abrupt, severe bouts of pain, tenderness in the joints, and redness. It typically affects the joint at the base of the big toe. An attack can happen at any time, such as in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping.
Symptoms of gout include:
- Joints may become tender, warm, red, and swollen
- Pain around the large joint of the big toe
- Reduced joint mobility
- Joint discomfort lasting from a few days to a few weeks.
Risk factors of gout include:
- Genetic: If family members have it, you’re more likely to experience it
- Obesity: Obese people are at a higher risk
- Meds: Diuretic medications can elevate acid levels
- Diet: Eating shellfish and red meat increases your risk
- Alcohol: Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Gender/Age: More common in men until the age of 60.
If you experience sharp pain in the joints of the big toe, it’s time to make an appointment with your podiatrist, to have your condition expertly diagnosed and explore treatment options.
But before visiting your podiatrist, you should take note of your symptoms, including when they started and how often they appear, all important medical information, and any questions regarding your condition. Sharing this information will help your podiatrist evaluate your condition and provide the best course of treatment for you.
While gout is a painful condition, it is treatable. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.