Gout presents as a red, hot, painful, swollen joint. It’s often seen in the big toe joint but can present in any joint of the foot. Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone, especially with a family history. People often complain of pain that “happens out of the blue”, where a patient wakes up with an acutely painful, hot, swollen joint.
Gout happens when Uric acid crystals accumulate in the joint, causing the increased swelling and pain.The Urate crystals form when you have elevated levels of Uric Acid in the blood. There are some things that predispose people to having a Gout attack.
Diet it the biggest factor. A diet high in the following can increase the amount of uric acid the body must produce:
- Meat (especially red meat)
Other risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Heart and kidney disease
- Certain medications, like diuretics
- Family history of gout
- Recent trauma
Gout occurs more often in men ages 30-50 and women after menopause. Treatment often includes medication. See your podiatrist if you think you’re having a Gout attack! There are other problems that can masquerade as Gout, so it’s important to be evaluated by a professional.