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Gout in the Big Toe

Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid can crystallize and lodge in the joints, leading to painful gout flare ups. One of the most frequent sites for a gout flare up is the big toe joint. Gout in the big toe typically causes intense throbbing and burning joint pain, which occurs with a sudden onset, often in the middle of the night. The pain may be accompanied by swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness, as well as difficulty moving the big toe. All of this can interfere with walking or standing and going about your daily activities. Gout may flare up once, or could become a chronic condition and lead to permanent joint damage. If you have experienced a gout flare up in your big toe or anywhere else in your feet, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist.  

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM from Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

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 Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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