Have you ever experienced a sudden, intense pain in your big toe? If so, you may have a complex form of arthritis called gout. At Maryland Podiatry Services in Baltimore, Maryland, board-certified podiatrist Felicia Armstrong, DPM, provides comprehensive gout treatment and patient education so you know what to expect when you suffer a flare-up. To manage gout pain and reduce future flare-ups, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Gout is a unique form of arthritis that tends to develop suddenly, without warning. While gout can affect any joint in your body, it almost always occurs in the joint at the base of your big toe.
More often than not, gout flare-ups happen at night. Many people with gout wake up in the middle of the night with a painful burning sensation in one of their feet. The affected joint may also feel tender and hot to the touch.
As a complex form of arthritis, gout primarily causes joint inflammation and pain. If you experience an episode of this painful condition, you may have:
Gout comes on suddenly, but its effects can last for weeks after your flare-up. You may have pain, soreness, and a limited range of motion in the affected joint long after the initial attack.
A buildup of urate crystals in your affected joints causes gout. These crystals form due to an abundance of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is necessary to help break down purines, natural substances found in seafood, steak, sweetened drinks, and more.
The following risk factors increase your chances of developing gout:
A diet high in red meat, organ meats, fruit sugar, and alcohol can lead to a buildup of urate crystals in your joints.
Men between the ages of 30 and 50 are more likely than women to develop gout. However, a woman’s chance of developing gout increases after menopause.
You’re more likely to experience gout if a close relative also has the condition.
Your body naturally produces more uric acid if you’re overweight. Obesity also makes it difficult for your kidneys to filter uric acid.
Dr. Armstrong uses both topical and oral corticosteroid medications to treat gout and relieve pain in your joints. After your initial attack, she can design a personalized treatment plan that helps prevent future flare-ups.
Some of the treatments she may recommend include diet and lifestyle modifications, weight loss, and hydration. The primary goal of gout treatment and prevention is to decrease the levels of urate crystals in your joints by reducing the amount of uric acid in your body.
For comprehensive gout treatment, call Maryland Podiatry Services or book a visit online today.