What is Gout?

Gout is considered to be a very common and complex type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in various joints, most commonly appearing on the big toe joint.

An attack of gout can occur all of the sudden, lasting from 5 to 7 days and may not cause lasting damage if it’s treated. 

If you feel that the condition is getting worse, you should immediately seek help. 

 

Gout causes

The problem that causes gout are the urate crystals that accumulate between the joints. These crystals cause inflammation and great pain.

The urate crystals that cause gout appear when one person has higher levels of uric acid in their blood, which can be naturally found in the body, but some kinds of foods, like red meat and organ meat can influence the augmentation of uric acid in the blood.

What happens is that the body expels uric acid through urine or by dissolving it in the blood. But sometimes these can form a kind of needle shaped crystals, and they get stuck in the joints, which causes the problems to appear.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms can vary and occur most often at night and all of the sudden. Some of them are:

  • Intense pain: Usually the person who suffers from gout can have severe and intense pain in the joint that is afflicted by the condition. It occurs mostly on the big toe joint, but other joints too, as the ankle or even the knee joint.
  • Inflammation:  All the affected joints get warm, red, swollen and tender, which can make moving difficult as the inflammation gets worse, leading to limited range of motion.
  • Lingering pain and discomfort: After intense pain that gout causes, the person can have lingering pain and discomfort that last from some days, to a few weeks. It gets worse and lasts longer in subsequent cases.

Things that increase the chances of having gout

There are some things that can help in the appearing of gout, here we will list a couple of them, such as:

  • Being a male;
  • Being obese;
  • Drinking alcohol;
  • Using medications, such as diuretics;
  • Having a diet based in purines (red meat and some kinds of seafood);
  • Having health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and poor kidney function.

As you can see, most of them can be prevented by having a balanced diet and other kinds of health care.

 

Treatments and Diagnosis

In case that you have gout, you should immediately go after medical assistance and the specific treatment with your doctor.

The gout diagnosis is made through assessing your symptoms, x-ray, lab exams and physical test results. Which will show if the condition is gout, and afterwards you should get your treatment right.

The treatments to this condition are:

  • Managing the pain of a flare: This treatment consists in the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen.

  • Preventing high uric acid levels: This will be indicated to those who suffer from acute flares or chronic gout, and the medical doctors may recommend preventive therapy to keep low levels of uric acid in their blood.

  • Preventing future flares: Here you should aim at losing weight, having a balanced diet, drinking less alcohol and maybe changing diuretic drugs that may cause high uric acid levels.

 

When is the right time to see your doctor?

Well, if you are suffering from sudden, severe joint pain, maybe it’s time to book an appointment at your doctor. If you have high levels of inflammation and fever, seek immediate help, that can mean you have an infection and lead to more problems.

And if you feel any of the symptoms and want to have assistance, book an appointment with us at Pathak Podiatry.

Ankle sprains are evaluated with a careful history and thorough physical exam. In conjunction with a good history and physical, there are other in-office diagnostic modalities in which we can further evaluate ankle sprains. Digital X-Rays are done in-office to rule out any bone injury and can instantly be reviewed with the patient. An in-office Sonogram evaluation of the ligaments and tendons allows for visualization of any soft tissue pathology. For severe ankle trauma, or when conservative therapy is not effective, a CT or MRI scan will allow for proper visualization of both bone and soft tissue allowing for the proper treatment course to be implemented.