Permian Basin Foot and Ankle
Board-Certified Podiatrists and Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Odessa, Midland, and Pecos, TX
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes severe pain attacks, especially in your big toe. Justin Brown, DPM, Jordan Womack, DPM and the team at Permian Basin Foot and Ankle, which has three locations in Odessa, Midland, and Pecos, Texas, provide evaluation and management of this chronic condition that mostly affects older men and some post-menopausal women. Gout is manageable and even preventable with proper medical support and interventions. Call the nearest office today or book online to find out more.
What is gout?
A type of inflammatory arthritis, gout occurs when you have a build-up of uric acid in your tissues or a joint. It most commonly affects the big toe but can affect other joints as well.
Your body produces uric acid when you break down purines, chemicals found naturally in food and your body. You always have some amount of uric acid in your blood, but urine usually eliminates it. If you have gout, though, your body doesn’t efficiently flush out the acid, and it collects in your joints.
Am I susceptible to gout?
Men develop gout more often than women. However, women have a greater risk of developing the condition after menopause. You may develop gout if your kidneys malfunction and don’t eliminate normal amounts of uric acid. Some people simply produce too much uric acid.
Gout also has a genetic component; if you have any of the following, it increases your risk:
- High blood pressure
If you’ve recently had surgery, undergone severe stress, or have had chemotherapy, you’re also at risk of developing gout.
What are common symptoms of gout?
Gout attacks can be very painful. Your symptoms may include:
- Intense pain that comes on suddenly
- Red and swollen joints
- Warmth in the joints
If you suspect you have gout, contact Permian Basin Foot and Ankle for evaluation and treatment.
What causes a gout attack?
A gout attack isn’t always predictable or preventable, but you can take steps to lower your risk. Avoid foods and beverages with high levels of purines, such as shellfish, organ meats, red meat, beer, and red wine.
Gout often strikes your big toe because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes. Excess uric acid usually collects in the coolest part of your body, which is the big toe. A gout attack can affect any joint, though.
How is gout treated?
The podiatrists at Permian Basin Foot and Ankle provide prescription medications and injections to treat your pain and inflammation associated with gout. The doctors can also guide you in making the dietary changes necessary to reduce your consumption of purines.
With therapy and support, a gout attack eases in roughly 3-10 days. If you experience repeated cases of gout, you will need more in-depth treatment to prevent lasting joint damage.
If gout disrupts your life, contact Permian Basin Foot and Ankle. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online to find relief today.