A gout attack is one of the most painful experiences one can endure. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the blood that crystallizes into the outer joints of the hands, wrists, knees, and—most often of all—the large joint of the big toe. This big toe pain frequently attacks at night and it is noteworthy how sensitive to touch your toe becomes—even slightly brushing a sheet over your toe can cause excruciating pain.
This condition is a form of arthritis and is often caused by eating a diet that causes uric acid to increase in the body. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, are known to increase uric acid. As soon as the uric acid reaches a certain concentration, just one more alcoholic drink can bring on an attack. Organ meats, seafood, and fatty steaks can also cause uric acid levels to rise.
You can decrease your uric acid levels and likelihood of a gout attack by avoiding or limiting the foods mentioned above, and by consuming low fat dairy products that may actually protect you from getting gout. Two teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar consumed in a glass of water daily will also decrease blood uric acid levels.
Although a gout attack will resolve on its own, repeated attacks can cause permanent damage to the big toe joint and decreased mobility.
You don’t have to live with gout pain or any other pain you may have in your feet or ankles. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.