Gout is often a recurring condition that causes joints to become red, swollen and extremely tender to the touch. Historically it has been known as the “disease of kings” due to it’s connection to a diet consisting of large amounts of meat, alcohol, and seafood.
Gout frequently affects the big toe, but may also occur in the ankles, knees, hands and wrists. Elevated levels of uric acid can crystallize and form needle-like deposits in joints, around tendons and other tissues, causing extreme pain.
Diagnosis of gout:
- Visual inspection—The telltale signs of podagra—which is another name for gout when it affects your big toe—are generally straightforward, with redness and swelling evident, and difficulty in moving the toe joint without extreme pain.
- Synovial fluid inspection—Your doctor will use a needle to extract a sample of fluid from the joint and inspect it under a microscope to look for the presence of the urate crystals.
- Blood test—The level of uric acid will be determined by examining your blood. High levels need to be brought under control with diet or medication or both.
Treatment for gout:
- Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling
- Ice the affected area several times a day for 15 minutes each
- Steroids are injected into the joint to provide instant relief
- Allopurinol, a powerful medicine, may be prescribed after the attack to prevent future bouts of gout
- Avoid diets that are high in purines
Some of the foods that have been proven to help lower the risk of a gout attack include: cherries, blueberries, bananas, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables. Drinking organic apple cider vinegar, fruit juices and pure water is also an excellent way to cleanse your blood.
If you are experiencing the debilitating pain of a gout attack, it is important to consult with your doctor for proper evaluation and treatment, and to try to prevent future outbreaks.
The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).