Gout Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Information from your Foot and Ankle Doctor in Orange County California.
A condition that results from an increased or overload of uric acid crystals inthe body. Most often it afflicts men.
Symptoms of Gout
Intense, sudden pain, many times beginning in the middle of the night.
Significant erythema, edema and increased temperature across the joint
making it difficult to even have the bed sheets touch the foot.
Most people say the pain is so intense that the bed sheets hurt when they touch the skin.
Causes of Gout
Uric acid is a byproduct of certain types of foods called purines.
Foods which contain large amounts of purines include red meat, red wine, sardines, herring and alcoholic beverages. Some people develop gout because their body naturally overproduces uric acid crystals. Some people have a hard time eliminating normal amounts of uric acid crystals.
The main issue that I find in patients are moments of dehydration. You increase your caffeine or alcohol level, eat specific foods and do not drink enough water to flush out your system.
When the kidney filtration slows down, uric acid builds up and precipitates out in the joints. The big toe joint is the most common area for gout to occur.
Gout can happen at any joint level, even at tendon insertions.
Diagnosis of Gout
A history and physical are most important. X-rays and laboratory blood tests are often used
to confirm the increase in uric acid crystals. Usually by the time the blood is drawn,
the uric acid in the body has normalized.
Treatment of Gout
Oral anti-inflammatory medication is usually prescribed. Within a few days symptoms resolve.
If gouty symptoms return more than twice a year, daily medication is recommended to keep the
uric acid levels low.
Increased attacks will damage the joints and cause early arthritic changes and pain.
Local cortisone injections can also help relieve the pain and inflammation during a gout attack.
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Last Updated 6-23-2021