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What Causes Gout?

What Causes Gout?

Burning or sudden, intense pain that occurs in a joint can be an indicator of gout. Although it most frequently manifests in the big toe, gout can develop in any joint. This form of arthritis is one of the many conditions we can treat at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center. Michael Tran, DPM and his talented team are specialists at dealing with all manner of sports medicine injuries and orthopedic conditions at their clinic in Arlington and Dallas, Texas

What is gout?

Gout is one form of inflammatory arthritis that can develop when inordinately high levels of uric acid are found in your blood. This acid creates barbed crystals that look like tiny needles. These crystals lodge in your joints and cause sudden and severe pain. Gout can affect any joint, but for some reason, it frequently affects the big toe. 

Symptoms of gout can include pain, swelling, redness, a hot feeling, and loss of range of motion in your joint. Gout attacks often occur during the night and begin with intense pain. After the pain decreases, most people have lingering discomfort that stretches up to a few weeks, with continuing joint inflammation and redness. 

What causes gout?

Purines are a natural substance in our bodies, and they are also found in high-protein foods like red meat, seafood, and organ meats. As your body processes these purines, it produces uric acid. Beer, other alcoholic drinks, and soft drinks sweetened with fructose can also add to uric acid levels in your body. 

When you have too much uric acid in your blood, either from too much consumption or an inability to excrete it, gout can occur. 

Gout is more frequent in men and in women past menopause. Being overweight or obese, a recent surgery or trauma, and a family history are also factors that can raise your risk of developing gout. Untreated medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart or kidney disease can also raise your risk. 

What are the treatments for gout?

Treatment for gout typically involves NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and resulting pain, and to slow the condition’s progression. Unchecked, gout can cause serious deterioration of your bones in an affected joint, resulting in pain. 

Of course, prevention is always preferred to treating developing cases of gout. Some measures you can take to prevent gout or flare-ups include:

Gout is a treatable condition, and Dr. Tran can provide further counsel and treatment. Contact us today at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center to schedule a consultation and exam. 

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