When individuals experience abrupt, sharp pain in the joint of their big toes, they may be suffering from one of the most painful types of arthritis. Day in and day out, many individuals suffer from gout. If you are suffering, take comfort in knowing relief is on the way. The doctors at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates of New York are experts in treating your feet.
What Is Gout?
This complex form of arthritis affects many feet. Characterized not only by sudden and severe pain, it also causes redness, tenderness and swelling. When the body has produced excess levels of uric acid in the blood, this condition can develop. Uric acid is produced as a direct result of bodily breakdown of chemical called purines. Purines are naturally found in the body as well as in foods such as asparagus, herring, organ meat, and mushrooms.
The acid usually dissipates after the purines are broken down, however, if the body has produced too much or if the kidneys aren’t adequately processing the acid, it builds up. Excessive accumulation of uric acid results in the formation of crystal-like needles. These needles cause the pain and swelling that overwhelms the senses.
How Do I Know If I Have It?
Symptoms of gout typically start out acutely and suddenly, with no signs of warning. If this toe pain persists, typically at night, call our office. The pain may gradually decrease and come in waves, but all discomfort is cause for concern.
As the pain subsides, the surrounding skin will become itchy, inflamed, and red or purple. Joints become tender and in some cases body temperature can become elevated. When an outburst occurs, flexibility in the toe joint become limited and painful.
This toe joint arthritis affects men in their 40s and 50s more than anyone. Women aren’t as likely to develop this condition, but become more at risk after menopause.
How Is It Treated?
Treatment involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain associated with swelling, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Depending on the severity of your foot condition, steroids may be used to combat the tireless pain and inflammation as well.
Other drugs used to treat this joint pain include Allupurinol, to reduce the amount of acid the body produces, and Probenecid, which aids the kidneys in eliminating uric acid efficiently. These medications help to decrease the uric acid levels in your body and cause gout attacks to become less frequent.
How Do I Prevent Gout?
Along with the use of prescribed medication, changing your diet may help. Foods that contain purines should be eaten less frequently. Cutting back on alcohol consumption as well as meats and yeast will reduce the amount of uric acid your body produces.
Don’t live in the shadow of foot pain. Gout is a serious form of arthritis. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, schedule an appointment today! Choose between one of our three offices in New York. Call (718) 896-4433, (516) 822-9595 or (718) 969-2266 to speak with a friendly member of our staff. Appointments can also be made online.