The first flare-up of gout can take you by surprise with intense pain that often wakes you in the middle of the night. The experienced podiatrists at Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists frequently help patients with gout because the condition typically appears in the big toe joint or foot. Prompt treatment for gout eases your pain and helps reduce or prevent future flare-ups. To get the help you need, call the office in Mission Viejo or Laguna Hills, California, or book an appointment online today.
Gout is a type of arthritis that develops when uric acid crystals accumulate in your joints. Your body normally eliminates uric acid in your urine. Your risk of developing gout increases as blood levels of uric acid rise.
High uric acid may occur as a side effect of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease. A low-dose aspirin regimen and certain medications, including those used to treat high blood pressure, may boost your uric acid levels.
You can also develop gout if your diet contains high-purine foods and beverages. Several top culprits include sardines, anchovies, shellfish, red meat, organ meats, beer, and red wine.
Uric acid turns into crystals that build up in your joints and cause gout. Gout most often affects the joints in your big toe. However, it also appears in your midfoot and ankle.
Gout symptoms are notorious for appearing suddenly in the middle of the night. As you sleep, the joint rapidly becomes swollen, red, and incredibly painful. The worst pain usually occurs in the first 4-12 hours, but you may have discomfort for weeks.
Gout doesn’t usually happen once and then disappear. Instead, it tends to recur, with each flare-up appearing more often and causing more severe symptoms. Over time, the uric acid crystals turn into hard lumps called tophi that damage the joint and cause deformity.
Getting treatment after your first gout flare-up helps prevent or reduce future attacks. Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists treat gout with medications and dietary changes; they advise you to limit or avoid high-purine products.
Gout medications work differently, so your provider prescribes the best one based on your symptoms and history of flare-ups. Some medications relieve inflammation and acute symptoms during a flare, while others lower blood levels of uric acid, prevent future flares, and limit your risk of developing hard lumps or tophi.
If your symptoms don’t improve or you can’t tolerate the standard medications, your provider may recommend an intravenous infusion with advanced biologic medicines.
Don’t wait to schedule an appointment after your first gout attack. Call Artisan Foot and Ankle Specialists or book online today.