‘Tis the season to be….Gouty?

The holiday season is finally here. It’s a time for gathering with friends and family. It’s a time to ditch that diet and indulge in decadent foods and drinks. It’s a time to be jolly. It’s not the time to experience foot pain. However, if you have severe pain in your foot without any cause, you may have gout.

ufai-gout-treatment2What is Gout?

Gout is a type of that most commonly affects the foot, especially the big toe joint. It is caused by crystallization of uric acids in poorly perfused areas. Uric acids are a common byproduct of purines, which are special chemicals found is certain foods. Hence, a diet rich in purines can lead to gout. Examples of such foods include high quantities of meats like beef, pork, and lamb. Fish, seafood, and even gravy also contain increased levels of purines. Alcoholic beverages like red wine and beer can also cause gout.  In fact, one beer a day may increase your risk of gout up to 50%. Medications that increase incidence include low dose aspirin, niacin, immunosuppressants, and diuretics. Chronic diseases associated with gout include alcoholism, obesity, hypertension, CAD, and hypertriglyceridemia.

What does Gout Feel Like?

Typical symptoms include a red, hot, swollen joint with intense pain. Pain is not always associated with trauma to the area. In fact, many patients have no trauma and pain presents in the middle of the night.  Symptoms last for about 3 to 5 days but can persist up to several weeks.

Gout is generally diagnosed clinically according to sudden onset and symptoms. However there are other diagnostic tests that can be performed. It can be diagnosed with a blood test to check uric acid levels. Uric acid levels above 7 mg/dL are indicative of an acute gouty attack.  However, blood test results can be misleading. People with high uric acid levels may be asymptomatic.  Others may have low levels but have associated symptoms. Another test that can be performed is a joint fluid analysis where a needle is used to draw fluid from the affected joint. The fluid is then sent for analysis and examined under a microscope which may reveal urate crystals. Lastly, x-ray imaging can be done to help rule out other causes of joint inflammation.

gout-anatomyHow do you Treat Gout?

Once a proper diagnosis has been made, Gout can be treated by medications. Most times a nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drug can be prescribed to decrease the inflammatory process in the joint. If patients have stomach pain or stomach ulcers, another option is an oral or injectable corticosteroid. Patients may also be given a prescription for Colchicine. This is a plant-derived medication that inhibits the production of uric acid at a molecular level. However, at high doses, this medication can cause gastrointestinal issues. If patients have frequent gout attacks, they should get worked up by their primary doctor and placed on prophylactic medication.

‘Tis the season to be jolly….. not gouty. If you have a red, hot, swollen joint with intense pain, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of the doctors at University Foot and Ankle Institute. We specialize in the treatment of gout. Allow us to treat your pain so you can enjoy your holidays.

Happy Holidays from all of us to you!

If you would like to make an appointment with our foot and ankle specialists, please call (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar is board certified in podiatric medicine and joined University Foot and Ankle Institute under a fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and went on to complete her surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, where she was trained in foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine.

Dr. Redkar specializes in foot and ankle pathology and is available for consult at our Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles and Beverly Hills locations.
Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Over 200,000 happy UFAI patients and growing
  • CustomerSure
    Outstanding doctors and assistants!! Great staff! Excellent care and service.
    Duane D.
  • ZocDoc
    Everyone was very pleasant, and the doctor spoke and listened without typing into a database. Very knowledgeable doctor. I would definitely recommend Dr. Campbell to my "running" friends.
    Thomas T.
  • ZocDoc
    Very kind and warm. Spent time explaining procedure and recommendations.
    Debbie A.
  • HealthGrades
    Dr. Yau takes time with his patient(s) and explains the foot condition professionally. I highly recommend Dr. Yau as a podiatrist.
    Art H.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Brayton Campbell is a very knowledgeable podiatrist.  It is obvious he cares about his patients to make sure we receive the right care.  I am very glad I have him as my podiatrist!
    Carole K.
  • CustomerSure
    It was my first visit to Dr. Briskin and it was a very positive experience. He has an excellent bedside manner.
    Tia T.
  • Yelp
    I found Dr. Bob  in 2004 when my bunions were bothering me.  I had been diagnosed with knee problems 3 years earlier, but did not know the problems were related.  My knee doctor told me to come back for a knee replace...
    Janet P.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Franson and the entire staff at University Foot & Ankle Institute - Valencia are awesome!! I had both feet corrected (bunion surgery) by Dr. Franson and he did amazing work!! He is caring, gentle and friendly, and...
    Helena O.
  • When I came to you I thought my long distance hiking days might be over. But with your care and skill I have had a miraculous healing in my foot. For the many things you've done. Last Saturday I hiked in the mountains...
    Taylor
  • Yelp
    Enjoyed getting the left foot bunion done so much (LOL), I went back and had the bunion on my right foot removed on Sept.28 ! This recovery has been even faster than on the left foot as we religiously (thanks to my w...
    Duane D.
Same Day Appointments
Now Available!

Or call 877-989-9110

24 hours a day, 7 days a week