Gout Attacks: Fight Back

Does this sound familiar? You eat a great meal of surf and turf: steak and lobster, which you enjoy with a fine red wine. The next day your big toe is killing you. It is swollen, red, and hot to touch and the pain is excruciating. If you answered yes, there’s a good chance you are suffering from an attack of Gout.

Gout Risk Factors

Uric acid is a substance that is normally present in our blood. Excess amounts are eliminated through urination. In a person with gout, however, instead of being eliminated, the uric acid builds up in the joints and tissues in the body and then crystallizes, causing pain and inflammation. In the foot, the big toe joint is the largest and therefore the one most often affected by gout.

Factors that increase your risk of getting gout include:

  • Heredity (if someone else in your family has it)
  • Certain medications and vitamins
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Being very overweight
  • Chemotherapy
  • Stress

Diagnosis and Treatment

At Edmond/Norman Foot & Ankle, our board certified podiatrist, Dr. A. Bil Buksh will want to take a complete family and medical history and then examine the part of your foot that is causing pain and discomfort. Certain diagnostic tests, such digital as x-rays may also be ordered.

If your foot doctor does make a diagnosis of gout, he will tell you what treatment he suggests to get relief from the gout attack. These may include: resting and elevating the affected foot, prescription medications, and increasing your fluid intake. Preventing future attacks may mean limiting the amount of foods associated with increased uric acid. These include red meat, organ meats, shellfish, red wine, and beer.

Gout is a serious condition. Left untreated, it can result in damage to the affected joints. If any of the joints on your foot are in pain, don’t wait to call our Edmond or Norman office to set up an appointment or schedule one online. Remember, pain is never normal and almost always a sign of a deeper problem. Get any pain or discomfort resolved promptly with the help of your professional foot doctor.