Gout is a type of arthritis that affects the joints. It is usually sudden with severe pain, redness and tenderness in the joint. Gout usually affects the big toe joint but it can affect any joint in the foot and body overall. Gout can affect anyone. It tends to be more common in men than women. Women usually become more susceptible after menopause.

How does it feel?

Gout can strike at any time.  An acute attack can wake you up at night with the feeling like your big toe, ankle or foot is on fire. The joint involved can be hot, swollen and tender to the point where bed sheet covering the toe is intolerable. The pain is most severe on the first 12 to 24hours.

What causes Gout?

Gout occurs when crystals called urate builds up in your joint causing intense pain and swelling. This urate comes from Uric acid which your body makes from substances such as organ meat, anchovies, herring, asparagus, mushroom and alcohol. The kidneys take care of Uric acid through urine, however sometimes the body makes too much Uric acid or can’t get rid of most of the Uric acid through the kidneys. When this happens, the Uric acid form crystals which build up in the joint which causes pain and inflammation with swelling.

What do I do if I’m having this kind of pain?

If you have severe pain in a joint, call your doctor. If gout is not treated it can cause joint damage. If you have fever or chills or nausea and vomiting, with a joint that is hot swollen it can be a sign of infection. Seek immediate medical attention. If you have any joint pain or think you are suffering from Gout contact Cornerstone Foot & Ankle to schedule an appointment.