Gout is a painful condition caused by excessive uric acid build up in the blood, and when acid reaches a tipping point, it can crystallize out into your joints, often striking the large joint of the big toe. Drinking excessive amounts of grain-based alcohol like beer and whiskey can increase uric acid levels. Being under a lot of stress can also trigger a gout attack, and some medicines can have the effect of increasing uric acid and causing gout.
Frequently people feel an itching and burning sensation an hour or two before a gout attack occurs. An attack can also strike at night, and even the slightest brush of your sheet over your big toe can cause intense pain from the uric acid crystals poking into your skin.
How to minimize the pain of a gout attack and prevent future flare-ups:
- Take off your shoes—Remove your footwear and socks to let your feet breathe and avoid added irritation from rubbing.
- Rest, raise, and ice your foot—Decrease your activities, and try not to walk on the foot during an attack. Lie down and elevate your foot on a pillow. Ice applied to the area for fifteen minutes several times a day will help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Avoid drinking alcohol—Avoid drinking alcohol, especially during an attack since it can make the episode more severe and last even longer.
- Avoid eating foods that contain purines—Fatty foods, shrimp, lobster, and organ meats are high in purines and should be minimized or avoided.
- Take ibuprofen—or other pain medicine to decrease discomfort and inflammation.
If you are experiencing ongoing and debilitating gout attacks, see your foot doctor for the proper care. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M., 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!