Have you ever gotten sudden and intense pain in a joint in your foot? It could be gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood stream.

How does gout develop?

When uric acid is formed as a result of the body breaking down purines, it is transported to the kidneys and passed through urine. However, some people develop an excess of uric acid as a result of low kidney function or high uric acid production. This buildup often leads to the development of gout, especially when triggers such as dehydration and diets rich in purines, alcohol and sugar are present.

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms include sudden and intense pain, inflammation, redness and irritation. The pain can last for several hours and subside, but can return to the area within months and eventually cause damage to the joint. Men are generally more affected by gout, as well as those with kidney problems or poor diet.

What are the treatments?

The following can help with acute gout attacks while waiting to see a podiatrist:

  • Medications to address pain and inflammation
  • Icing and elevating area
  • Drinking fluids

There are ways you can lower your risk of gout attacks through lifestyle changes:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid alcohol, red meat, sugar, and shellfish
  • Wear proper-fitting shoes with custom orthotics
  • Follow a diet full of vegetables, whole grains, vegetable oils, and plenty of water

If you develop gout, consult with a board-certified podiatrist for expert advice and treatment. Podiatry Center of New Jersey, located in Wayne, offers compassionate, individualized care for all types of foot and ankle conditions. Dr. Russell Samofal and his dedicated staff use innovative technologies and specialties in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery to address common conditions like heel pain, toe deformities, diabetic foot conditions, joint pain, sports injuries, nail fungus, pediatric foot problems, and calluses. Contact us for an appointment or more information by calling (973) 925-4111 today!