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Gout

Some people have a gout attack once in their life and never go through the uncomfortable experience again. But because of the dangers inherent in gout, it’s wise to see a podiatrist when you have any pain in your foot — before you lose mobility. Gout is a condition that strikes your joints, particularly those in your toes. Statistics show that if you’ve had one gout attack, you’re more likely to have another. But it’s preventable when you seek attention from a gout expert, which you find in Dr. Velimir Petkov at podiatry clinic Clifton, NJ.

Nearly two million American women and six million men suffer with gout, an inflammatory arthritis condition. Gout can be painful as swelling, warmth, redness and tenderness develop in your joints. Severe foot pain usually comes in waves, and the condition is immobilizing when the swelling occurs in your feet.

Untreated, gout can cause permanent damage that leads to immobility and chronic pain. The painful symptoms of gout encourage you to seek treatment. But if you’re stubborn, untreated gout can develop into some serious complications, including:

  • Chronic pain. Eventually, the pain in your joints doesn’t go away and you develop permanent joint damage. This is entirely preventable with acute gout treatment.
  • Persistent attacks. You may think you dodged a bullet when the pain in your joints disappears. But according to the Arthritis Foundation, around 60 percent of people who had a gout attack will have another one within a year, especially after a night of drinking.
  • Kidney stones. Stones are another side effect of untreated gout in a toe, but when you seek treatment, your top-rated New Jersey podiatrist can give you medication that prevents kidney stones from developing.

When it hits, you want to know how to treat gout as quickly as possible to relieve your pain. You can get help in northern New Jersey, about 30 minutes from New York City. At Premier Podiatry, foot doctor in Clifton, New Jersey Dr. Velimir Petkov is an expert in gout treatment. He quickly diagnoses the source of your discomfort and offers a wealth of treatment options for gout in your foot.

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Gout Causes and Risks

Gout forms when uric acid levels in your body are high and turn into crystallized needle-like solids in your joints. The most common place where gout forms is in your big toes, although it can develop in any joint in your body. The high levels of uric acid that cause the crystal formations can be caused by a number of factors, such as ineffective kidney function or eating and drinking excessive amounts of:

  • Alcohol, particularly beer
  • Seafood
  • Red meat
  • Organ meat, such as liver
  • Sugary drinks

While gout affects nearly every segment of the population, you’re more likely to develop the condition if you have certain characteristics, such as:

  • A genetic tendency. If other family members suffer with gout, you’re at a higher risk.
  • Gender. Men naturally have higher uric acid levels than women, although following menopause, women are just as likely as men to get gout.
  • Age. While women experience gout at higher levels after menopause, men tend to seek treatment for gout in a foot between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • Obesity. When you’re overweight, your kidneys have to work harder to eliminate uric acid and the buildup of the crystals in your joints may increase drastically.
  • Medications. Low-dose aspirin and diuretics cause your uric acid level to rise, as do medications for arthritis and psoriasis. Organ transplant anti-rejection drugs and drugs that suppress your immune system also lead to higher uric acid levels.
  • Disease. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol also increase the risk that you may develop gout. If you had a bypass surgery, your odds also increase.

Natural Treatment for Gout

Once you’ve been tested by your podiatrist — with a special CT scan, a blood test, an x-ray, an ultrasound or a joint fluid test — you receive any needed medications at-home instructions for a natural treatment for gout to prevent a worsening of the disease. Home care advice that helps prevent further complications includes:

  • Losing weight
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Refraining from binge drinking or giving up alcohol altogether
  • Limiting meat consumption
  • Being physical active
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day

Getting Treatment for Gout in Your Foot

While lifestyle changes play an important role in preventing future gout attacks and even providing a complete gout cure, you may need further medical care. Gout treatment relies on a two-pronged approach:

  • Pain relief
  • Gout cure

The first step is to eliminate or reduce the gout pain you’re dealing with. Dr. Petkov does this by reducing the joint inflammation. You get medication for pain relief when an attack, also called a gout flare, begins. Pain-relieving medication may include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Colchicine, often prescribed in tandem with uric acid-lowering drugs

The second part of acute gout treatment consists of taking prescription medication to lower the uric acid levels in your body. Dr. Petkov explains the difference, and potential side effects, of the various medications available.

Gout Q & A

What causes gout?

A type of arthritis, gout is unique and often considered more complex than other forms of arthritis. What makes gout so different is that it flares up (usually) because of your diet. Gout develops when urate crystals start building up in your joints.

Urate crystals form when your body produces uric acid, a byproduct of purine digestion. While some purines are found naturally in your body, they’re also hidden in red meats, seafood, sweetened beverages, and alcoholic drinks (especially beer). Not only does a diet high in uric acid-containing foods cause gout, your risk also goes up due to:

  • Being overweight
  • Family history of gout
  • High blood pressure
  • Metabolic syndrome or diabetes

While gout more commonly affects men than women, it’s typical for women to start developing gout after menopause, since natural uric acid levels generally increase during this time.

Are there symptoms of gout?

Yes — both visible and invisible. Gout can cause your joint to swell up and become inflamed. Over time, the joint — usually your big toe joint — grows abnormally large, red, and tender. It’s also common to experience:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Joint stiffness
  • Stabbing or burning pains

The onset of gout discomfort tends to happen quickly, with pain peaking between the first 4-12 hours of a flare-up. Symptoms can linger for days in some cases.

How is gout treated?

Top rated podiatrist NJ Dr. Petkov and the team at Premier Podiatry offer several gout treatment solutions to decrease your inflammation and pain level, as well as to prevent future issues. After all, if it’s left untreated, gout can lead to permanent joint damage and inflammation, possibly even a deformity. Your personalized gout treatment plan may involve:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Uric acid-blocking or removing medications

Because diet and maintaining a healthy weight are critical for getting through a gout flare-up and preventing another one, the Premier Podiatry team also helps you with dietary and weight loss planning to help lessen your risk of future gout pain. Take toe joint pain seriously and contact Premier Podiatry before your gout gets out of hand and you find yourself permanently disabled.

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