Gout can be painful and debilitating, and patients who suffer from this condition often seek medical assistance quickly when symptoms arise. These symptoms include swelling, redness, and often severe pain of the affected joint, usually the big toe. Because gout often occurs in the toe or foot, your podiatrist can help you manage this condition. Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists, a podiatrist practice in Newtown, PA, provide details about what to expect with gout treatment.
How do I prevent gout?
Gout is an inflammatory condition and a form of arthritis. It occurs when there is too much uric acid in your body, and it builds up in your joints. Anyone can get gout, but certain factors make some patients more at risk than others. Men tend to suffer from gout more often than women. Obesity is another risk factor. Certain health conditions, such as heart issues or diabetes, can lead to a higher risk of developing gout.
Diet is a major factor in developing gout as well. High levels of fructose (a type of sugar) and high amounts of purine (such as red meat) in your diet can make it more likely for you to get gout. If you are aware of risk factors, you can monitor your health and diet to prevent gout.
How is gout diagnosed?
The primary symptom of gout is pain, which leads many sufferers to seek medical attention quickly. Joint pain could be a sign of other inflammatory issues, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible when symptoms arise. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and likely send you to get X-rays. A lab test will be able to check levels of uric acid in your body to confirm a diagnosis of gout.
How do I manage gout?
Gout cannot be cured, but there are many ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares. For acute discomfort from a flare, your doctor may recommend NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to reduce pain caused by inflammation. Prevention of flares is another major part of gout treatment. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, to reduce your risk of flares. This includes limiting purine-rich foods and alcohol intake.
Weight loss can also reduce pressure on joints that are affected by gout. Depending on your other health conditions, your doctor may recommend a change in current treatment to avoid flares caused by medicines. Do not alter your medical routine without consultation with your doctor.
Make a podiatrist appointment in Newtown, PA
Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists treat gout and other foot diseases. Our practice also specializes in ankle and foot injuries, toenail fungus, foot deformities, and much more. To schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Newtown, PA, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 215.234.3772.