Gout is a painful type of arthritis that affects more than eight million people in the United States. Though there’s no cure for gout, there are effective treatments that can minimize the painful joint flare-ups. At Sarasota Foot Care Center, with office locations in the Sarasota North and Gulf Gate Sarasota neighborhoods of Sarasota, Florida, the team of podiatrists specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gout. For comprehensive care for your gout from an experienced team, contact the office most convenient to you by phone or book an appointment online today.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that results from excessive uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a substance created by your body from the breakdown of purines. Your kidneys remove uric acid from your blood and excrete it through your urine.
However, if your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys can’t excrete it fast enough, levels buildup in your blood. The uric acid then turns into needle-like urate crystals, which settle in your joints and cause swelling, redness, and pain.
Though the urate crystals may settle in any joint in your body, gout most often affects the joint at the base of your big toe. However, the arthritis may also affect other toe joints, your ankle, or knees.
You may also develop gouty tophi, deposits of crystallized uric acid under your skin that appear as moveable lumps that may grow larger over time.
You may be at risk of developing gout if it runs in your family, or you have a personal history of diabetes or high blood pressure.
Gout tends to develop suddenly and may last days or weeks. With a gout flare-up, you may experience:
Gout pain is most severe during the first 12 hours of an attack. But you may continue to experience joint discomfort for a few days or a few weeks.
Gout usually only affects one joint at a time.
When you visit Sarasota Foot Care Center with complaints of severe toe joint pain, a podiatrist conducts a thorough history and physical to determine the right diagnosis.
During the exam, your podiatrist reviews your symptoms, personal medical and family history, types of medications and supplements you take, and your usual diet. Then, they perform a physical and closely examine the affected joint.
Your podiatrist may run laboratory tests and digital X-rays to rule out other causes of your inflammation. Gout can only be diagnosed during a flare-up.
Initial treatment for gout focuses on relieving pain. Your podiatrist may prescribe medications or injections to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. They may also advise you to immobilize and elevate your foot.
In addition to helping you get relief from your acute symptoms, the team at Sarasota Foot Care Center also provides treatment recommendations to prevent future flare-ups, such as:
In some cases, your podiatrist recommends surgery to remove the urate crystals and repair the joint.
To get relief from gout pain, contact Sarasota Foot Care Center by phone or book an appointment online today.