If you experience sudden and intense attacks of pain in your foot, you may be suffering from gout. At Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, with locations in the Beverly/Mt. Greenwood and Portage Park areas of Chicago, as well as Orland Park and New Lenox, Illinois, the board-certified podiatrists offer safe and effective treatment for people struggling with gout pain. If your symptoms are interfering with your normal routine, call one of the offices or book an appointment online today.
Gout is a complex and painful condition that typically affects the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is a build-up of uric acid in your joints. Uric acid is a byproduct that your body naturally produces as it breaks down purines.
Normally, your body excretes uric acid through urine. If your body has too much uric acid or doesn’t remove enough of it, the excess uric acid can form sharp crystals that build up in your joints and surrounding tissues.
If left untreated, gout can lead to worsening symptoms and permanent damage to your joints.
Gout causes sudden bouts of painful symptoms that come and go, frequently in the middle of the night. Symptoms of gout include:
The pain caused by gout is often so severe that the slightest touch can seem intolerable. In addition to severe bouts of pain, some people with gout also experience lingering discomfort that can last for days or weeks after a flare-up.
Gout is the result of high levels of uric acid. One of the biggest contributors to high levels of uric acid is the food you eat. Diets high in sugar, alcohol, and red meat can increase your risk of developing gout.
Some people are at an increased risk of developing gout because of their genetics. Additional risk factors include:
Gout affects men more often than women. Women often experience higher levels of uric acid after menopause, which can increase their risk. Most people develop gout after age 30.
How your gout is treated depends on the severity of your condition. The goal of treatment is to reduce your risk of further joint damage and prevent future attacks of gout pain.
During the appointment at Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, your podiatrist performs a thorough examination to determine the cause of your symptoms and rule out other possible causes of your joint pain.
In most cases, your podiatrist uses oral medication and/or steroid injections to help you effectively manage your condition. They may also suggest dietary changes or exercise to help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risks of recurrent attacks of gout.
At Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, the team is committed to helping you find the right treatment for your condition. To speak with a podiatrist about your gout treatment options, call or book your appointment online today.