There’s No Gout About It

Are you experiencing a sudden, severe onset of pain in your big toe? There’s no doubt about it—that’s gout. Gout is a painful arthritic condition that affects nearly 3 million Americans annually. Yet, most people would not be able to recognize a gout attack the first time it happens. 

So, what is gout exactly?

Glad you asked. Gout, also called hyperuricemia, was first identified in 2640BC. The condition is brought on by high levels of uric acid which form crystals in the body. Uric acid is needed to break down purines, a chemical compound found naturally in many foods. Some bodies produce too much uric acid and, instead of being used, it builds up in the metatarsal joint of your big toe.

What does gout feel like?

Symptoms include sudden and intense pain with redness and swelling. Attacks often happen at night and create tenderness so acute it’s painful to even lay the bedsheets over your toe.

Why am I having a gout attack?

Lavish and decadent foods such as bacon, veal, scallops, and alcohol (particularly beer) have high levels of purines. Too many purines mean too much uric acid and this can trigger the condition.

How is gout treated?

Many first-time gout sufferers delay treatment, hoping the pain will simply go away. But eventually, these folks end up at an urgent care center for pain relief. Instead, you can visit your foot doctor who can administer a corticosteroid injection in-office to reduce swelling and pain almost immediately. Then, you and your provider can discuss a plan to help you manage your gout.

Can gout be cured?

Gout attacks are easily avoidable with dietary changes or oral medications. However, without treatment, the potential for an attack is always present because the internal process that leads to gout cannot be corrected.

If you are suffering from an attack, don’t delay your treatment. Gout can be indicative of cardiovascular issues or kidney damage. Know the signs and symptoms so there’s no doubt in your mind about gout. Then call the FAAWC today.

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