Some people think that gout is a medical condition that is a thing of the past, but the truth is that millions of patients still get diagnosed with it every year. This false belief may be due to the fact that gout has been around since ancient times (circa 2600 BC). Without treatment, it can get progressively worse and cause chronic arthritis that makes it difficult to carry on normal daily functions. Know the signs of gout so that you can have it properly diagnosed and treated at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland, a trusted Silver Spring podiatrist office.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a condition that occurs when the body creates too much uric acid or doesn’t know how to dispose of it fast enough. Crystals from the uric acid deposit around the body, causing swollen tissues and joints. When gout affects the feet and toes, it can make it difficult or impossible to walk normally. Doctors believe it is caused by a number of potential factors include:
- Poor diet or a diet too rich in meats
- Alcohol intake
- Being overweight
- Taking some types of medications
Signs of Gout
Your Silver Spring podiatrist will have to properly diagnose gout with an exam and x-rays, but there are a few clear signs that you may be affected. The clearest indication is severe pain in your joints, swelling and redness. It causes a tender, aching feeling that often appears suddenly and doesn’t usually go away on its own without proper treatment. In many cases, a lump appears under the skin around the joints that can become progressively larger. Gout most commonly occurs around the base of the big toes.
Treatments for Gout
Medication can be prescribed to help treat gout and prevent it from coming back. The purpose of the medication is to lower the production of uric acid in the body so that your system has a chance to properly eliminate uric crystals. Your doctor may also administer corticosteroids and NSAID medications to reduce pain and swelling.
Talk to Your Podiatrist
Now that you know the signs of gout to watch out for, keep an open line of communication with your podiatrist. Call the Silver Spring office of Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland at (301) 439-0300 for a foot checkup and to address any similar issues you may be experiencing.