You can’t miss the signs of gout because it causes excruciating pain and swelling in the joint of your large toe — and it typically occurs suddenly while you sleep. Board-certified podiatrist Navrit Randhawa, DPM, and his colleagues at Carteret Foot & Ankle Center offer personalized treatments that alleviate your pain, avoid joint deformities, and prevent future flare-ups. If you need comprehensive care for gout, call the office in Carteret, New Jersey, or use the online booking feature to request an appointment today.
Gout is inflammatory arthritis that develops when uric acid crystals accumulate in your joints. Uric acid is a natural waste product created when your body metabolizes purines, which are biochemicals needed to build DNA.
Excess uric acid is usually eliminated in your urine. If blood levels of uric acid are too high, the substance turns into tiny crystals and accumulates in the joints in the cooler areas of your body. As a result, gout most often affects the joint at the base of your big toe.
Gout occurs when your body makes too much uric acid, doesn’t remove enough, or something causes uric acid levels to increase. Certain medications and diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure raise uric acid levels.
Your diet also has an impact. Uric acid levels skyrocket when you consume foods high in purines, such as sardines, shellfish, red meat, organ meats, red wine, and beer.
Gout causes sudden joint inflammation during the night. The joint rapidly becomes swollen, red, and very painful. The intense pain lasts 4-12 hours, but the joint can remain uncomfortable for weeks.
After your first gout flare-up, the condition usually recurs. Though not as common, it can also progress to affect your ankle, wrist, elbow, and other joints. As time passes, your flares occur more frequently, and each attack causes more severe pain. Without treatment, the crystals form hard lumps (tophi) that damage the joint and cause deformities.
Your Carteret Foot & Ankle Center provider combines lifestyle recommendations and medications to ease your pain and lower your risk of future flare-ups:
Reducing or removing high-purine foods and beverages from your diet may be all you need to control gout. Your provider gives you a list of items to avoid. Maintaining a healthy body weight — and losing weight when needed — also improves gout.
Your provider may prescribe medications to reduce the pain and inflammation during an attack. You could also benefit from medications that lower uric acid levels and improve the kidney’s ability to remove uric acid from your body.
Early treatment helps stop future gout episodes, sparing you from increasingly painful flare-ups. Call Carteret Foot & Ankle Center or book an appointment online today to get relief from gout.