The Gout – Signs, Symptoms, Treatment & Visiting The Doctor
Hopefully, you will never experience the unwanted symptoms of gout, which can include the immediate onset of torturous discomfort. But if you are ever progressing through your daily activities and are suddenly jolted by the reality of extreme pain in the joint of your big toe, then there is a great likelihood that you have developed a case of gout.
The discomfort can be so agonizing that many patients feel compelled to seek emergency care, and it has been stated that when asked to rate their level of pain on a scale of 1-10, the majority of gout patients have ranked their discomfort at either nine or 10.
This painful condition is a form of arthritis that can emerge if an excessive amount of uric acid has developed in your bloodstream. If this increased level of uric acid has in fact occurred, then your system will usually advance it to your kidneys, and it eventually departs your system through urination.
But if acid is being accumulated at a faster rate than your body can eliminate it, then that will result in symptoms that appear similar to an infection. That can cause the joint that has been impacted to swell, turn red, and remain extremely tender.
While this scenario usually develops within the joint of your big toe, similar acute pain, swelling, and redness can also affect your knee and ankle.
Increasing The Risk Of Gout
The U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) has stated that the likelihood of contending with gout increases for males, and also for anyone who is overweight. The risk also rises for anyone who deals with hypertension, resistance to insulin, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and kidney issues.
Alcohol consumption can also cause gout, as can any food or liquid that contains a higher percentage of fructose – which is a form of sugar. Red meats, organs meat, and certain seafood (sardines, mussels, trout, tuna, anchovies, scallops) that have purines are also problematic because the body converts these purines into the uric acid that can initiate gout.
How You Can Reduce The Risk
There are steps that can be taken to diminish the possibility of experiencing gout, and it should be understood that they largely involve making a conscious effort to avoid the items that were just mentioned as risk factors for this painful condition.
That begins with a recommendation to maintain a healthy diet. and to abstain from eating foods that contain high levels of uric acid. This involves items that contain purines, which were listed previously (red meats, organs meat, and certain seafood (sardines, mussels, trout, tuna, anchovies, scallops). Considering that the consumption of alcohol raises the potential for experiencing gout, it is logical to recommend that managing alcohol intake will also reduce the risk.
Remaining active through a regular exercise regimen is also critical, as physical activity will not only provide you with numerous benefits both physically and mentally, but remaining active is also essential in helping with weight control. Retaining a healthy weight will decrease the strain on your joints, knees, and hips, while also making it easier for you to sustain an effective exercise regimen that can be essential toward avoiding this condition.
When To Visit A Doctor
If you are dealing with the intense pain, swelling, redness, and heat that usually indicates the presence of gout, then you should visit a physician. This is also true for anyone who is contending with chills, or a high fever.
Anyone who has experienced gout can eventually have this condition reemerge, and this is referred to as a gout flare. That might not occur for an extended period of time. But regardless of whether a return takes places months or years after gout has developed for the first time, it is wise to contact a doctor whenever it does.
What A Doctor Will Do
While there is not a cure for gout, this condition can be treated and managed efficiently. However, your physician will need to observe your symptoms, and conduct testing in order to ensure that your issue is not an infection that is similar yet different from gout itself.
This could easily involve a blood test, which will determine the amount of uric acid in your blood. If the level is high, then it is very likely that gout is the cause of your condition. There could be additional testing of the fluid that surrounds your joint, as an increased presence of fluid also serves as an indication that gout has developed.
At Orthopedic Associates We Can Help
If you have any questions or concerns about gout or any other issues with your feet, the professionals at Orthopedic Associates are ready to assist you.
Orthopedic Associates offers a full spectrum of musculoskeletal care, along with in-house physical sports therapy, and state-of-the-art-technology including our digital imaging and open MRI, and an on-site surgical center for more patient convenience.
Our board-certified doctors – including foot specialist Michael J. Willenborg – have been practicing medicine for a combined total of 183 years of experience. This helps
Conditions of the feet that are treated at Orthopedic Associates include:
- Accessory Navicular
- Adult Acquired Flatfoot
- Bunionette Deformity (Tailor’s Bunion)
- Cavus Foot (High-Arched Foot)
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)
- Charcot’s Neuroarthropathy (CN)
- Claw Toe
- Clubfoot (Talipes Equinovarus)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Diabetic Foot
- Fracture of the Heel Bone (Calcaneus)
- Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe)
- Hammer Toe
- Ingrown Toenails
- Jones Fractures
- LisFranc (Midfoot) Fracture-Dislocation
- Morton’s Neuroma
- MTP Synovitis (Capsulitis)
- Peroneal Tendon Tears
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Plantar Warts
- Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot
- Stress Fractures of the Footarsal Tunnel Syndrome (Posterior Tibial Neuralgia)
Our orthopedic experts are highly experienced in performing numerous types of treatments for your feet. These treatments include:
- Amniotic and Placental Graft
- Tissue for Surgery and Wound Care
- Bunion Correction with Scarf and Akin Osteotomy
- Bunionette Deformity Correctionalcaneal Fracture Fixation (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
- Calcaneal Sliding Osteotomy (with Lateral Plate Fixation)
- Calcaneal Tongue-Type Fracture Fixation (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
- Cartilage Repair
- Charcot Foot Treatment Options
- Cold Laser Therapy
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
- Cotton Osteotomy (Medial Cuneiform Opening Wedge Osteotomy)
- DuVries Arthroplasty
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy (EPF)
- Excision of Mortons Neuromas
- First MTP Joint Fusion/Replacement
- Fixation for LisFranc Injury
- Hammertoe Correction (PIP Joint Arthroplasty)
- Jones Fracture Fixation
- Kidner Procedure
- Lapidus Arthrodesis (with Medial Plate Fixation)
- Lapidus Procedure for Bunion Correction
- Lateral Column Lengthening (Evans Osteotomy) for Adult Acquired Flatfoot
- LisFranc Ligament Repair (Suture Button Technique)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Mallet Toe Correction (DIP Joint Arthroplasty)
- Medial Calcaneal Sliding Osteotomy
- Metatarsal Fracture Fixation (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
- Metatarsal Head Resurfacing with Collagen Interpositional Grafting
- Midfoot Fusion
- Minimal Incision Toe Bone Spur Removal
- Multimodal Anesthesia and Pain Control
- Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)
- Partial Nail Removal (Matrixectomy)
- Plantar Fascia Release (Open Technique)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
- Pulse Dye Laser Wart Removal
- Radiofrequency Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
- Intramedullary Memory Implant
- Subtalar Implant/Fusion
- Tarsal Tunnel Decompression
- Tendon Transfer/Repair
- Triple Arthrodesis
- Weil Osteotomy for Claw Toe