Gout is one of many forms of arthritis that can limit joint function, and it’s particularly common in the feet. At Pinnacle Foot and Ankle Clinic in Westminster, Colorado, podiatrists Katherine Parodi, DPM, and Jacob Stuart, DPM, provide nonsurgical care for gout and symptoms like stiffness and swelling. To schedule a podiatric evaluation, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Gout is a type of arthritis. All forms of arthritis affect joints but in different ways. In the case of gout, arthritic joint pain and stiffness come from a buildup of uric acid around the joints, which turns into crystal-like structures that are sharp.
Like other forms of arthritis, gout causes several symptoms concentrated in specific joints. They include:
The joint at the base of the big toe is one of the joints most commonly affected by gout. During an acute gout attack, your symptoms flare up and the pain becomes severe. Usually, a gout attack goes away in a matter of hours or days. In some instances, it can last longer.
Gout is extremely common, and its prevalence is growing. You get it because of the natural breakdown of chemicals called purines from the foods and drinks you consume. When your body breaks these down, uric acid is the byproduct.
In some cases, your body produces too much uric acid and, despite functioning correctly, the kidneys can’t keep up with filtering it out. In other cases, gout results from inefficient kidney function, which allows a buildup of uric acid to happen.
Not everyone with a high level of uric acid gets gout, however. If you have gout symptoms around your big toe, the team at Pinnacle Foot and Ankle Clinic can evaluate you and make a diagnosis.
You can manage gout and its symptoms with over-the-counter options and medications from your podiatrist. There are some medications that work by lowering levels of uric acid in your body and others that work by reducing the pain and swelling.
With any medication, you should follow your physician’s instructions closely to get the best possible results from taking them. The Pinnacle Foot and Ankle Clinic team may offer some advice for lifestyle modifications to treat gout, like drinking plenty of water to improve kidney function and getting regular exercise to stay at a healthy weight.
To learn more about gout and how it affects the joint at the base of the big toe, call Pinnacle Foot and Ankle Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.