Gout pain is typically intense and excruciating and can last for hours or days at a time. If you’re suffering symptoms of gout in your feet, the experienced podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers in Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, and Belle Glade, Florida, can help. They prescribe the most effective therapies to relieve your pain and prevent long-term damage. To benefit from their expertise, call or use the online booking form to make an appointment today.
Gout is a type of arthritis — a family of painful joint conditions. While it can appear in other joints, including ankles, knees, wrists, elbows, and fingers, gout primarily affects the base of your big toe.
The toe joint develops gout when there’s too much uric acid in your blood. Uric acid comes from substances called purines that are present in many types of foods, and your kidneys normally filter the acid out, so you excrete it when you urinate.
Some people naturally generate high levels of uric acid. Or you might have excess uric acid because your kidneys aren’t extracting enough from your body.
The resulting high uric acid levels could then leave you prone to developing gout. Gout occurs when uric acid forms crystals inside your joints, causing inflammation and pain.
Gout causes acute attacks of severe pain, with other symptoms being:
The pain and tenderness that gout can cause are often so excruciating that the slightest touch on the affected joint can be agony. The pain isn’t constant, though, and attacks of gout can last hours or possibly days.
If you have gout, you’re likely to experience these acute attacks of pain regularly over the years. If you have large deposits of uric acid crystals, nodules can also appear underneath your skin.
To diagnose the cause of your condition, the team at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers examines your feet, reviews your medical history, and discusses your symptoms with you. If they suspect gout, they can take a sample of fluid from the affected joint.
By analyzing the fluid sample under a microscope, it’s possible to see the uric acid crystals and confirm the diagnosis. If your provider can’t detect any crystals, they can also look for signs of infection or inflammation from other causes.
During an acute attack of gout, you can take anti-inflammatory medication to relieve the pain. You might also need oral steroid medication or steroid injections into the joints to reduce inflammation.
The team also recommends lifestyle changes to prevent future problems with gout if your diet is due to uric acid imbalance. Drinking plenty of water and taking vitamin C, in addition to dietary changes, can help.
South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers also prescribes medication that lowers the levels of uric acid in your blood, and colchicine to reduce the buildup of uric acid crystals in your joints.
Without the right treatment, gout can cause chronic pain and irreversible joint damage.
If you’ve experienced the agonizing pain of gout, South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers has the skills and knowledge to relieve your suffering. Call the office or book an appointment online today.