Get the Facts about Gout

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Parties, holiday dinners, work and club celebrations are all part of this festive season and, for some patients, they also pose an increased risk for gout attacks. Gout is a form of arthritis that results in excruciating pain in a joint—most often the big toe—as well as inflammation, swelling and decreased range of motion. Who gets gout and what can be done to prevent it? At FL Foot Health we want patients to be informed so we offer these facts about gout:

FACT: Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joint which crystallizes. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, a naturally occurring chemical in the body that is also present in certain foods and beverages.

FACT: Not everyone’s body deals with uric acid as efficiently. Some people’s kidneys have difficulty eliminating uric acid and other people’s bodies overproduce it.

FACT: One of the most common triggers for gout attacks are foods that are high in purines, many of which are found on holiday menus. They include red meat, shellfish, rich sauces, red wine, beer, brandy and organ meats. Some evidence shows that lentils and beans may also be culprits.

FACT: There are other causes of gout as well, such as:

  • Certain medications and vitamins

  • Stress

  • Chemotherapy

  • Surgery

  • Obesity

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Genetics

FACT: More men get gout than women.

FACT: To diagnose gout, your podiatrist will want to examine your foot and may order x-rays and laboratory tests to rule out other conditions that affect the joints. In addition, the podiatrist will want to get a complete medical history. If you don’t have a podiatrist, we can help. Search our online directory for a qualified podiatrist in your area.

FACT: Gout can be treated with medication. In addition, the podiatrist may recommend that you elevate the affected foot and drink plenty of fluids to help flush the uric acid out of your body. To learn more about gout and other podiatric health conditions, visit our website or contact us.