Well, Easter weekend has come and gone. Some of you have visited family, over indulging on the goodies the bunny delivered, while others may have stayed home. Hopefully nobody’s diet change was enough to set off the painful big toe sensation referred to as Gout.
Gout is actually very common, and is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, typically the joint at the base of the big toe. It can really put you out of commission! Gout is a complex form of arthritis, which can affect anyone, but men are more likely to get it. However, women do become more susceptible to it after they go through menopause.
An attack of gout can really come out of the blue. It can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire!! OUCH! The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of a sheet may seem intolerable. Not a fun way to be pulled out of happy dream land…
Luckily, gout is treatable, though. There are also some ways to reduce the risk of gout recurring. According to the Mayo Clinic, gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, which happens when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines- substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods, such as steak, organ meats and seafood. Other foods also promote higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose).
Some ways to avoid gout in the future is to reduce your consumption of these things afore-mentioned. You should also try to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, your body produces more uric acid and your kidneys have a more difficult time eliminating it- which greatly increases your risk of gout. Certain diseases and conditions also make it more likely that you’ll develop gout.
- high blood pressure untreated
- metabolic syndrome
- heart disease
- kidney disease
If you experience sudden, intense pain in a joint, call your doctor! Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and joint damage. You should get to the doctor immediately if you have a fever and a joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection. Call Dr. Joseph Stuto if you’re experiencing this, or any other foot or ankle issue that needs attention. Dr. Stuto has two convenient Brooklyn locations available for you to visit.