Ever feel intense pain in your joints out of nowhere? You might have gout, the condition that is the result of uric acid buildup in the blood. When the acid reaches a certain level of concentration, it will crystalize out of the blood and into the joints causing intense pain. The joints of the feet and ankles are frequently affected as are the knees, wrists, and hands.
Symptoms of gout include the following:
- Pain in the large joint of the big toe—When gout strikes the big toe it is called podagra and this is probably the most common location for a gout attack. The pain can be so severe that in the midst of an attack even brushing a sheet over your toe can cause intense pain.
- Intense pain in the ankle joint and great difficulty in movement.
- Formation of uric acid crystals—Your doctor can remove some fluid from around the joint and check under a microscope for acid crystals to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for gout includes the following:
- Just wait it out—A gout attack will usually subside by itself after a day or two.
- Pain and swelling treatment—Pain medication and anti-inflammatories, icing, resting the foot, and elevation of the foot above the heart will help reduce the painful swelling and other symptoms.
- Preventing future outbreaks—Avoid consuming foods and beverages that are high in purines. These include seafood, meats, and most alcoholic beverages. Foods that help reduce uric acid in the blood include blueberries, cherries, bananas, and tomatoes.
The development of gout is often one of the first indications that you need to start paying more attention to your diet. Take the opportunity to reevaluate your diet, exercise, and overall health.
If you are experiencing recurrent gout attacks in your feet and ankles, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist is the best place to start. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our expert podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!