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Common Symptoms of Gout

Burning pain in your big toe and joint inflammation in your foot could be signs of gout — a type of arthritis that affects millions of American men and women each year. Gout is more common in men, especially if you’re overweight, and it occurs when uric acid builds up in your joints.

Here at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center in Arlington and Dallas, Texas, Dr. Michael Tran and Dr. Scott Floyd offer their expertise as podiatrists and wound care specialists to treat your gout symptoms long-term. We provide personalized, comprehensive treatment based on your health needs as a whole person. Learn about the common symptoms of gout and how to know when to seek medical attention.  

Understanding gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that happens when high levels of uric acid collect in your bloodstream. Although gout can occur in any joint, it typically affects one of your big toes first.

The acid creates needle-like crystals in your affected joints which cause sudden and severe pain. When it affects your big toe, each step you take can be extremely painful. 

Gout symptoms also commonly include swelling and redness in the joint, and it might feel hot to the touch. Gout attacks often flare-up during the night and begin with intense pain that’s most severe in the first 412 hours. 

Once the pain from the flare-up decreases and becomes tolerable, it’s likely that you’ll experience lingering discomfort, joint inflammation, and redness that last from a few days to a few weeks afterward. Your toe may feel stiff, and you can lose range of motion in the joint as the disease progresses.

Risk factors and potential causes of gout

Gout strikes men more often than women until women undergo menopause, and then women experience increased risk. Being overweight or obese, having recent surgery, and experiencing a trauma also increase your risk, as well as your family history. 

Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines — a substance found naturally in your body, and also in high-protein red meat, organ meat, and certain types of seafood. In addition, alcoholic drinks, beer, and beverages sweetened with fructose can raise your natural uric acid levels. When your body either creates too much uric acid or excretes too little, it can lead to gout. Hundreds of years ago, gout was called “the disease of kings” because the average peasant couldn’t afford such rich food and drink.

Medical conditions like untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can also increase your chances of developing gout, as does taking certain medications, such as thiazide diuretics and low-dose aspirin.

Preventing and treating gout

When you first come to AllCare Foot & Ankle Center with gout symptoms, we conduct a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment. We typically prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help control symptoms and prevent further joint damage.

If you’ve already had or continue to have multiple gout attacks, it can lead to a variety of health complications, including the erosion and destruction of your toe joint and the development of kidney stones. This is why preventing future gout attacks is essential for your overall health and wellness, not just for relieving the pain in your toe. 

We recommend the following to help prevent future gout flare ups:

The common symptoms of gout aren’t something you should ignore, and we can help you get it under control. Give us a call at our Arlington or Dallas offices, or request an appointment online today.

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