An attack of gout can cause sudden, severe pain in your joints, particularly the one in the big toe. The podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, with offices in Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley, and the Montclare neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, treat this inflammatory form of arthritis to avoid painful attacks and minimize symptoms when they do arise. Call one of the offices today to set up an appointment or use the online tool to book if you suspect you’re suffering from gout.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in your tissues or joints. Most commonly, gout affects the big toe but can affect other joints, too.
You produce uric acid when your body breaks down purines, a compound found naturally in food and your body. Uric acid is always present in your blood, but your body’s waste removal systems usually eliminate any excess in your urine.
If you have gout, you don’t effectively flush out excess uric acid, which collects in your joints.
Gout more often occurs in men, but a woman’s risk increases after menopause.
It also can develop due to kidney malfunction. The organs fail to eliminate uric acid as they normally should. Some people produce more uric acid than normal.
Gout may also be caused by or associated with:
Episodes of severe stress, and chemotherapy also increase your risk of developing gout.
Attacks of gout often occur suddenly. You may awaken to symptoms that feel like your big toe is on fire. You may notice:
Your big toe is most often affected because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes. Your big toe is the coolest part of your body, so uric acid most often collects there.
You can’t predict a gout attack. And, if you have gout, you can’t always prevent attacks either.
The providers at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists recommend you alter your diet to lower your risk of gout attacks. Avoid foods and beverages with high levels of purines, such as shellfish, organ meats, red meat, beer, and red wine.
The podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists use prescription medications and injection therapy to treat gout symptoms. They can also help you develop a diet plan that reduces your consumption of purines.
Your gout attack should ease within 3-10 days with proper treatment and support. Repeated cases of gout require regular monitoring and management to prevent lasting joint damage.
If you have symptoms that suggest gout, reach out to Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists to schedule an appointment. Call the nearest office or use this website to book online.