Gout is caused by uric acid that can build up in the bloodstream, and while it is a normal ingredient of your blood, when any excess accumulation isn’t expelled through urination, the acid can reach high enough levels to crystallize out of the bloodstream and into the tissues around the joints, especially the big toe joint.
Gout can be misidentified as other problems including hallux rigidus (stiff big toe), so you need to have your foot doctor perform an exam to determine the exact cause of your pain.
How to prevent gout and treat an ongoing gout attack:
- Don’t consume foods high in purines—A variety of foods including shellfish, cured meats, red wine, beer, and whiskey contain high amounts of purines that increase uric acid levels that contribute to crystal formation.
- Medications can control gout attacks—A prescription medication called allopurinol can counteract high uric acid levels and help to avoid gout attacks.
- Proper hydration—Stay properly hydrated to rid your body of the uric acid crystals that are causing all the pain. Proper hydration will also dilute your blood levels of uric acid, and avoid crystal formation in the first place.
Gout symptoms will usually subside in a day or two or three. If you often experience gout attacks, long-term medication may be required to keep it under control.
If you are experiencing gouty arthritis symptoms in your feet our podiatrists can help. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, has years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. If you have sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems, our foot doctors provide high-quality podiatric care. We serve patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Downingtown and Woodlyn, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.