Tuesday, 01 August 2023 00:00

Symptoms That May Indicate Gout

Gout is an inflammatory condition that causes extreme pain in the joints and is particularly common in the big toe. Patients with gout suffer from hyperuricemia, an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid then crystallizes, forming sharp, short needles that settle in the joint and cause extreme pain. Anyone can suffer from gout, but it is more common among men over the age of 30. Risk factors for gout are genetics, alcohol use, and a diet rich in foods that contain a high level of purines. These include red meat, seafood, and beverages made with alcohol or large amounts of sugar. The top indicator of gout in the big toe is severe pain. This may come on suddenly and typically occurs at night. The intense pain can linger for days. Swelling, tenderness, and redness are also hallmarks of gout. The skin on the toe may begin to peel and then become itchy and flaky. It also may begin to feel hot to the touch. In some cases, a low-grade fever develops, along with flu-like symptoms. If you believe you may have gout in the big toe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer treatment options.  

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.


  • 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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