Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Summer is here and that can mean a lot of summer BBQs, parties and cheat days ahead. Consuming red meat, fish, fried foods and alcohol can be an enjoyable summer pastime, but it can lead you down the road to a lot of foot pain. If after enjoying your summer parties you notice swelling, pain and an overall change in appearance of your foot, you may be suffering from a condition called gout.
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- Gout is considered a type of arthritis. It occurs when the body has too much uric acid in the bloodstream.
- The symptoms you get from gout are caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the foot.
- Gout most often attacks the big toe joint.
- Gout usually plagues you in the middle of the night, but can act up at other times.
- Gout is usually treated with prescribed medication from a podiatrist.
Treating Your Gout
Most cases of gout are treated with medications prescribed by your podiatrist. These medications are used to treat the symptoms of gout. They can also prevent flare-ups and reduce complications from the condition. Some commonly used medications are anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and colchicine.
Some medicines are used to reduce the production of uric acid. Podiatrists will also recommend a change in diet. Foods that are high in uric acid are red meats, fish and alcohol. If avoided, they can help reduce gout attacks.
Testing for Gout
Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose gout. This is because the symptoms of gout can look like other conditions. Because of this, a podiatrist may order a battery of tests to determine if gout is the actual cause of your discomfort. One such test is a joint fluid test. This is where fluid is extracted from the joint and examined under a microscope for crystallization. Bacteria may also be tested for in the joint fluid as it can also cause gout-like symptoms. A blood test can be done to test for increased levels of uric acid.
If you experience gout-like symptoms, it is important to contact a podiatrist right away. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. There Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage your gout. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.