Gout is an inflammatory condition that causes redness, swelling, stiffness, and extreme pain in the joints, particularly the big toe. A gout attack in the big toe, termed podagra, happens suddenly and often at night. Sufferers may be jolted awake by pain and a burning sensation so great that even the weight of a sheet on the toe can be agonizing. Gout is more common in men, but the risk factor increases in women after menopause. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, which forms crystals in joints, resulting in severe pain. Attacks usually last for about a week but can occur again without warning. Because the crystals, called tophi, that form in the toe joint can cause both cartilage and bone damage, it is not a good idea to ignore this condition. Instead, if you believe you have developed gout, please make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer treatment options and suggest lifestyle changes to best combat this disease.
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.
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 one of our offices located in Brighton and Greece of Rochester, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.