A Shout Out To Gout – An inflammatory condition of the toe
Gout is a very painful inflammatory condition, most commonly occurring in the big toe joint, that is the result of an accumulation of uric acid crystals within the joint. This happens when your body produces too much uric acid, which is a by-product of breaking down the protein you eat. Symptoms include severe and sudden attacks of swelling, redness and extreme tenderness to the skin and with motion of the joint.
Read the transcription of the gout video
Gout has been around for hundreds of years. If your parents have Gout, you have a 20% increased chance that you will also get Gout. Genetics is one factor, but diet is the other major factor. It was once known as a Gentlemen’s disease, because obesity plays a major role in who will get gout. Hundreds of years ago, when food was scarce, obesity was an identifier of wealth. Let’s take Henry VIII for example. He had gout. He loved meat and alcohol. Alcohol, especially beer, can cause gout. He was British. British people are 5 times more likely to suffer from gout.
Symptoms of a gout attack can be miserable
- Intense pain that comes on suddenly – often in the middle of the night or upon standing.
- Signs of inflammation such as redness – swelling and warmth over the joint.
Initial treatment of an attack of gout typically includes the following:
- Musculoskeletal Laser Treatment – One 10-minute, pain free office treatment can have you walking out of the office more comfortable, without the need for a cortisone injection.
- Medications – prescription medications or injections are used to treat the pain, swelling and inflammation.
- Dietary restrictions – foods and beverages that are high in purines should be avoided.
- Fluids – drinks plenty of water and other fluids each day, while also avoiding alcoholic beverages which causes dehydration.
- Immobilize and evaluate the foot – avoid standing and walking to give your foot a rest. Also, elevate your foot (level with other slightly above the heart) to help reduce swelling.
Don’t self-diagnose. Most foot pain is not gout. So at the first signs of foot pain, come in to see our doctors. They will evaluate your symptoms, diagnose your condition and provide a treatment plan that is right for you.