Tuesday, 28 June 2022 00:00

Genetics, Foods, and an Unhealthy Lifestyle May Lead To Gout

Excess uric acid crystals can cause a condition known as gout. It is brought on by elevated purines in the bloodstream that form crystals in the joint of the big toe and cause extreme pain and discomfort. Gout can occur from genetic reasons, eating foods such as shellfish and red meat, excess alcohol use, or drinks made with large amounts of sugar. The pain that accompanies gout is sudden and generally happens in the early morning hours. It was referred to as a “rich man’s disease” because wealthy people often consumed these types of extravagant foods. There are effective prevention methods that may reduce the risk of getting gout. These include eating healthy foods and maintaining a normal weight. Also, it can be beneficial to practice a simple exercise program, and drinking plenty of fresh water can help to improve kidney function. If you have frequent gout attacks, it is wise to be under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat this painful ailment.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Fox Valley Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Naperville, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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