Sudden and severe attacks of joint pain and swelling, especially in the big toe, may be a sign of gout. At Bay Area Foot Care, the expert podiatrists diagnose and treat gout so you can live pain-free. If you think you may have gout, don’t delay. Bay Area Foot Care has locations in San Rafael, Castro Valley, Pleasanton, Oakland, Walnut Creek, and San Leandro, California, as well as in the neighborhoods of Lower Pacific Heights, Inner Richmond, NoPa, and the Mission District in San Francisco. Call your nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Gout is a common type of arthritis that most often affects the joint at the base of your big toe. Attacks of gout come on suddenly and can be miserable, causing symptoms such as:
Without treatment, gout can lead to increased pain and joint damage. You should schedule an appointment at Bay Area Foot Care right away if you experience sudden, intense joint pain.
Deposits of crystallized uric acid lead to gout attacks. Normally, your body removes uric acid from your blood and eliminates it via urination. When you have gout, uric acid builds up and crystallizes in your joints.
Uric acid accumulates in people’s bodies for a variety of reasons. This substance is the result of the breakdown of purines, which are chemicals naturally found in your body and in certain food and beverages, such as red meat and beer.
In some cases, gout develops because the kidneys can’t effectively eliminate uric acid through urine. Other times, the body produces too much uric acid. Certain factors may increase your risk for gout, including:
Gout commonly affects the big toe because uric acid crystallizes at cooler temperatures. Because your toe is the farthest from our heart, it’s cooler than the rest of your body.
First, Bay Area Foot Care reviews your symptoms and medical history and examines the affected joint. You may need tests, such as blood work or an on-site digital X-ray, to confirm a diagnosis of gout.
Then, Bay Area Foot Care recommends the best treatment for your specific needs. Treatment for gout typically includes medications and lifestyle changes, such as limiting food and drinks high in purines.
If you experience symptoms of gout, call Bay Area Foot Care or book an appointment online today.