Gout, how do I Know if I Have it?

Gout is an arthritic condition that is commonly misdiagnosed by ER’s across the country. Many people develop that dreaded red, swollen, painful toe and report to the emergency room only to have blood drawn and be told, “it’s not gout.” I’m here to tell you, that is incorrect.

Gout is a systemic arthritic condition that is due to the over production or under excretion of uric acid. During an acute attack the aforementioned uric acid is not circulating through your blood, rather it is within your joint causing extreme pain. This is precisely why that blood test is usually negative. This condition is typically diet controlled by avoiding shellfish, red meat, beer and wine. These foods and drinks are high in purine proteins which increase your risk for an attack.  For most of us controlling our diet, and decreasing our purine intake can help prevent future flare ups. If this doesn’t seem to help, there are prescription gout medications such as Indocin, Colcrys, Uloric and Allopurinol that can be taken to help prevent future flare ups. Also shown to help is cherry juice! Most importantly during an acute attack you should see your podiatrist as soon as possible, because the best and quickest way to alleviate an attack, is with a cortisone injection.  A steroid injection can typically alleviate your pain associated with gout without the need to take any medications.

Long term consequences of gout include tophi buildup (an accumulation of uric acid that has the consistency of cottage cheese) as well as arthritic changes to the joint.

If you are suffering from an acute gout attack and need help with your pain, call us at Healthy Feet Podiatry. We can get you in the same day and help you feel better right away!

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