Gout is a disorder that develops as a result of the accumulation of uric acid, and while it can affect other joints it is most common in the joint of the big toe. This is a very common painful problem that we see in our office. Gout “attacks” are caused by crystallized uric acid that deposits in a joint, resulting in severe pain and irritation. Uric acid, a by-product of many foods that we eat, is regularly removed from the body by the kidneys but in some individuals can build up in joints.Factors that put a person at higher risk for Gout include:
Gout attacks can also be triggered by certain foods, including:
Gout attacks are miserable. Extreme pain often comes suddenly, commonly occurring in the middle of the night. Accompanying the pain is usually swelling, redness, and warmth over a joint.Treatment should be sought quickly to alleviate the severe pain and can include medications, modifications of diets, drinking more water, immobilization and elevation, and steroid injections. It is important to treat gout, as recurrent attacks can cause arthritic changes of the affected joint.
- Dr. Huff