With so many bones packed into a relatively small area, our feet can give us quite a bit of discomfort whenever there is a condition affecting our joints like arthritis. Gout is a specific form of arthritis that most commonly affects the big toe, although it can crop up in any of the joints in the feet, ankles, or knees. Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream, which only becomes harmful when it crystallizes and deposits in our joints. Men are affected by gout more frequently than women are.
An attack of gout is usually sudden and extremely painful, often waking you up in the middle of the night. The affected joint becomes swollen, tender, hot, and red, and can throb for several hours before finally lingering off to a general discomfort that can last for days. Even if the pain from one specific attack is gone, it is important to seek treatment because the uric acid can cause another attack at any time.
Treatment for gout is very similar to that for arthritis, with additional lifestyle changes to reduce uric acid levels. It may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections (under the supervision of a doctor)
- Foot soaks and ice application
- Reducing the intake of alcoholic beverages and sweetened beverages and replacing them with water
- Limiting consumption of red meat, organ meats, and seafood, which contain the precursor to uric acid
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight
Start off the New Year on the right foot by making the commitment to prioritize your foot and ankle health. Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico has experience treating patients of all ages in Central New York. At Syracuse Podiatry, Dr. D’Amico can provide both surgical and non-surgical solutions to diabetic wounds, heel pain, sports injuries, and much more. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, you can contact us or call our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668!