If you wake up in the middle of the night feeling like the weight of your bedsheets is too much to bear on your big toe, you likely have gout. It might also feel like your toe is on fire. Franklin Harry, DPM, ABMSP, and Tim Davydov, DPM, ABPM, of Best Foot Forward in Festus and St. Louis, Missouri, use gout treatment to put out the fire sensation in your toe. Call Best Foot Forward today or book an appointment online to find relief from your gout symptoms.
Gout is a complicated form of arthritis marked by sudden pain attacks, often at night, along with swelling and redness in one or more joints. Gout commonly affects the big toe. You could go to bed feeling fine and wake up in the night feeling like your big toe is on fire.
Gout can affect anyone of any age. The symptoms can appear and disappear. But flare-ups can be prevented, and the symptoms managed.
Your body produces uric acid when breaking down purines, a naturally occurring substance in the body. Under normal conditions, uric acid dissolves in your blood, enters the kidneys, and then exits the body in your urine. When your body produces excess uric acid, or your kidneys don’t excrete enough, the uric acid builds up, forming urate crystals.
Gout is joint inflammation caused by a buildup of urate crystals in the joint and the surrounding tissues, causing swelling and severe pain.
Things that increase the amount of uric acid in your body, which also increase your risk of developing gout, include:
Eating red meat and shellfish and drinking beverages containing fruit sugar increase uric acid levels in your blood. Consuming alcohol, beer in particular, also increases uric acid and your risk of gout.
Untreated high blood pressure increases your risk of getting gout, as do certain chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, and metabolic syndrome. Overweight people tend to produce more uric acid, and their kidneys have difficulty eliminating uric acid.
Some medications increase uric acid levels, including low-dose aspirin and medicines prescribed to control high blood pressure.
Men’s uric acid levels are higher than women’s. So gout is seen in men much more often than women. After menopause, women’s uric acid levels increase, which also increases their risk of developing gout.
If family members have had gout, you’re at a higher risk of developing it.
Gout is treated with two kinds of medication. One of these medications helps prevent gout complications by lowering the uric acid levels in your blood. The other helps reduce the inflammation and pain caused by gout.
Best Foot Forward’s experienced providers help determine the appropriate gout treatment based on how severe and how frequent your gout attacks are. Call Best Foot Forward today or schedule an appointment online for diagnosis and treatment of gout.