The holiday season can be a landmine for patients who suffer from gout. This arthritic condition occurs when uric acid accumulates and crystalizes in a joint, most often in the big toe.
Gout is a painful joint condition caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. This can be caused by a variety of factors including diseases, genetics or a person’s lifestyle. Gout is an arthritic condition that can cause severe pain. It makes simple activities such as walking and standing uncomfortable. When this becomes chronic it can affect a person’s quality of life.
Symptoms of Gout
Gout usually happens at night. This often occurs suddenly and without warning. To avoid this, gout should be diagnosed and treated early. Below are some of the symptoms of gout:
- Burning sensation in the joint
- Pain and discomfort that persists for days
- Tenderness and inflammation in the joint
- Intense pain in the joint
Treating the symptoms of gout can be done by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This reduces inflammation which in turn stops pain. Consult a podiatrist if pain persists. The doctors of Long Island Foot and Ankle Group are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from gout.
Causes of Gout
Gout like arthritis can occur in any joint in the body. But this more commonly occurs in the big toe than any area of the body. It is caused by uric acid deposits in a joint. This in turn produces inflammation which irritates the nerves. Uric acid is filtered by the kidneys and eliminated through urination. But when the concentration of uric acid exceeds the filtering capacity of the kidneys it continues to channel though the body.
People with a family history of gout are also at high risk for developing the condition. Studies show that almost 20 percent of gout sufferers have a history of gout in the family. Gout is mainly caused by uric acid deposits in the joints but can also be caused by other factors, these are:
- Kidney disease
- Sickle cell anemia
Drinking alcohol increases the levels of uric acid in the body. Alcoholism can also damage the kidneys. This reduces your body’s uric acid filtering capacity. Some medications such as diuretics or those that promote fluid elimination can affect the body’s ability to remove uric acid.
Lifestyle changes such as minimizing alcohol and meat intake can greatly reduce the occurrence of gout. But when this fails to address the situation, consulting a podiatrist is advised. At Long Island Foot and Ankle Group with offices located in Valley Stream and Lake Success, we specialize in helping people suffering from gout. To schedule an appointment phone Valley Stream (516) 825-4070 or Lake Success (516) 327-0074.