What Does Gout Feel Like?

People often ask what does gout feels like

Many people are unable to determine if pain in their foot is associated with gout.  Most people say that they just wake up and their foot is swollen.  They try and think back and they cannot recall any injury or stress that may have occurred in the foot.

Gout is a systemic condition that is caused by high levels of uric acid in the body. While uric acid is normal in your blood, it can become too high. When uric acid level becomes higher than what you get rid of through your kidneys, the uric acid can collect in a joint. The most common joint is the big toe joint; however, any joint can be affected by gout. Once uric acid starts to crystallize in the joint and your body is reacting to this, the joint becomes very inflamed, swollen, red and warm. It can cause severe pain! Most people describe the pain as so severe, a bed sheet can’t touch it. Some describe it as a hot dagger in the foot.

There are several other conditions that can look just like gout.  The most common is an infection.  Infections have similar symptoms, however, there would normally need to be a wound, sore or a break in the skin to get an infection.  An injury, sprain or fracture could also cause a similar appearance.  This is why it is important to see your podiatrist immediately if you have these symptoms.

One of the most common myths is that men only get gout. Women that are post menopausal are susceptible as well and should be evaluated for gout if they continue to have periods of severe pain or swelling in a joint.

Gout can be treated through medical management. Use of strong anti-inflammatories or medications that can decrease uric acid levels can be used to prevent further gout attacks. But one of the most important treatment plans is evaluation of diet. Certain food and drink can cause an increase in uric acid which will make you more prone to developing gout. Foods such as red meat, organ meats, seafood and alcohol can cause gout attacks to occur. Avoid these foods if you believe you may have gout until you can follow up with your doctor for further evaluation.

If you are unsure whether or not joint pain is being caused by gout, call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555 for an evaluation. The doctors at Advanced Podiatry can help determine the cause of your foot and ankle pain. They will help you determine if your pain is secondary to gout and how to correctly manage gout to prevent further attacks.

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