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What Is Gout and How Can It Be Prevented?

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

A common condition that affects the feet is known as gout. It falls into the arthritis category, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It develops as a result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood, and this can cause crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, as well as other joints. Causes are varied, including being overweight, eating excessive red meat and shellfish, and consuming drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. Additionally, existing medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, and poor kidney function may lead to developing gout. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition may include swelling, intense pain, redness, and the affected area may feel hot when touched. Gout is often diagnosed during a flare up, and a needle may be inserted into the affected joint that can provide a sample of the crystals. Effective prevention strategies of gout can consist of eating a healthy diet, getting and staying physically active, and managing weight. If you have gout attacks, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can provide you with correct treatment and preventive techniques.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Plaza Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Baltimore, Lutherville, and Dundalk, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
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