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Family Foot & Ankle Care in Wheeling, IL 60090 and Chicago, IL 60613

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Developing Gout?

Monday, 26 April 2021 00:00

Purine, a chemical compound, is naturally present in the body and in foods including certain meats and seafood, as well as alcohol. When purine is broken down, uric acid is produced. If the body cannot properly flush uric acid out, it may crystalize in the joints—causing inflammation, pain, stiffness and even deformity in extreme cases. This condition, known as gout, is a form of arthritis which most commonly occurs in the metatarsophalangeal joint connecting the foot with the big toe. Men are more likely to develop gout, as well as people with a family history of gout, or those who are over 50 years old. Other risk factors can include obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney functions, and drug or alcohol abuse. In rare cases, children with certain genetic disorders that cause an excess of uric acid can develop gout. If you are in any of these high-risk groups and are experiencing pain or inflammation in any ankle or foot joint, contact a podiatrist who can examine you and may perform tests to analyze the fluid around the joint to see if uric acid crystals are present.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Anna Petrov from Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wheeling and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
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