Now that the holidays and New Years are upon us and we are indulging in food and drinks at parties with co-workers, family and friends, the incidence of gout increased. Gout is a type of arthritis that is seen when there is too much uric acid in the blood. It is commonly seen after eating seafood, meats, spinach as well as after drinking beers and other alcohols (all high in purines). Symptoms consist of severe pain in a joint (in the foot most commonly in the big toe joint), redness and swelling of the joint. Some people describe severe pain with something as basic as the sheets touching the affected body part. It is important to know that the above symptoms can be seen in many other disorders including infection and should be evaluated immediately. It is also important to know that you aren’t only affected with a flare up if you have had gout as a child. Many adults will have their first flare up in there 50’s or 60’s.
After infection and other diagnoses are ruled out (sometimes by x-ray and/or joint fluid sample), the most common treatment is an anti-inflammatory such as Indomethacin. Colchicine is another medication that can be used during an acute flare. Injection of steroid into the affected joint can also be used as initial treatment. It is important to start taking long term medications as well to decrease the likelihood of flare-ups. Some of these medications include Allopurinol, Febuxostat or Probenecid. It is also important to focus on avoiding foods high in purines and meeting with a dietician can help you determine this.
If you have any concerns regarding gout or any other foot and ankle condition, call Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s local podiatrists!