What is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis that often causes severe or sudden foot pain. Gout develops when urate crystals build up in a joint or joints in the foot. This build up results in inflammation and severe foot pain.
What Causes Gout?
When urate crystals accumulate in a joint, this can result in gout, along with associated foot pain. This build up of urate crystals occurs when blood contains high levels of uric acid.
Uric acid is produced in the body, as uric acid is used to break down purines. Purines are a natural substance found in the body, but certain foods also include purines. While steak and seafood include purines, certain beverages can increase uric acid levels in the body (such as alcoholic drinks and drinks that are sweetened with fructose).
Uric acid can form in to uric crystals in a joint when the body produces too much uric acid, or when kidneys don't excrete enough uric acid.
In addition to foot pain, gout symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Severe joint pain, often followed by chronic discomfort affecting the same area
- Reduced range of motion
If gout symptoms are accompanied by a fever, or the affected joint is hot, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. This could be a sign of an infection.
If untreated, foot pain associated with gout can get worse. More importantly, when untreated, gout could cause joint damage.
Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists can diagnose and treat gout. Gout treatments include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Medication, such as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medication, Corticosteroids, Medication to block uric acid production, Medication that removes uric acid.
- Changes in diet, such as limiting alcoholic beverages or high purine foods.
In addition, certain foods have been associated with reduced uric acid levels, which can be used as a form of gout treatment.
It's important to discuss gout treatment options with a medical provider prior to beginning treatment, as certain risks may need to be accounted for based on personal health factors.
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