Attacks of gout cause extraordinary pain in your joints due to inflammation caused by the build-up of uric acid. At Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers with multiple locations in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens, Michigan, the expert team can help you manage gout and minimize the associated discomfort. Call the nearest location or schedule an appointment using the online tool to find out more about possible treatment options.
Gout is a disorder that results from the buildup of uric acid in the tissues or a joint. It most often affects the joint of the big toe.
Gout symptoms come and go, but attacks are caused by deposits of crystallized uric acid in the joint. Uric acid is present in the blood and eliminated in the urine, but in people who have gout, uric acid accumulates and crystallizes in the joints. Uric acid is the result of the breakdown of purines, chemicals that are found naturally in our bodies and in food.
Some people develop gout because their kidneys have difficulty eliminating normal amounts of uric acid, while others produce too much uric acid. Gout occurs most commonly in the big toe because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes. At cooler temperatures, uric acid turns into crystals. Since the toe is the part of the body that is farthest from the heart, it’s also the coolest part of the body – and, thus, the most likely target of gout. However, gout can affect any joint in the body.
Gout is an inherited condition, but is also associated with hypertension, diabetes, surgery, obesity, chemotherapy, stress, and certain medications or excessive vitamin intake.
Gout is more common in men aged 40 to 60 years but can occur in younger men as well as in women.
You can’t always ward off an attack of gout, but consuming foods and beverages that contain high levels of purines can trigger an attack of gout. To reduce your chance of a gout attack, limit intake of shellfish, organ meats, red wine, beer, and red meat.
An attack of gout is quite painful. You may experience symptoms including:
If you experience these symptoms, call one of the locations of Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers to receive therapeutic relief.
Prescription medications and injections treat the pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with gout. You’ll also be directed to reduce your intake of foods and beverages high in purines. Drink lots of water as it helps flush out excess uric acid. You may get some relief by elevating the affected foot to reduce swelling.
With therapy and support, your symptoms of gout usually resolve within 3-10 days. If you have repeated cases of gout, the team at Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers can help you treat the underlying cause and prevent long-term joint damage.
If you have symptoms that suggest gout, call one of the locations of Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or schedule an appointment online to get relief.