What Are the Causes of Gout and How to Treat It?

Gout is a painful condition that can affect anyone, although it is most commonly found starting in men between 30 and 50 years old. Understanding what the symptoms of this disease are and how to treat them can help prevent flare-ups and increase your chances of preventing gout from occurring. We hope this article helps you understand the causes and symptoms of gout and how it can be treated.

Common Symptoms of Gout

Gout is classified as a form of arthritis, commonly affecting the joints and causing painful swelling. Gout is a very common form of arthritis found in elderly patients. In many cases, the first place gout flares up is in the joint just below the big toe. It may be mistaken for a sports injury and can continue to flare up and plague an individual unless treated. 

Common symptoms of gout include:

  • Severe joint pain, possibly even preventing you from walking or moving the joint at all
  • Pain in the joint in the middle of the night
  • Ongoing discomfort in the joint, including aches, soreness, and pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • In severe cases, fever and fatigue may affect individuals with gout

If you have even a few of these symptoms and believe they could be from gout, it is important that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to verify the diagnosis. If left untreated, gout will continue to attack the body and can spread to other joints.

What Causes Gout?

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. This chemical is generally filtered out by the kidneys, but when uric acid levels rise, your kidneys may not be able to handle the excess. The extra uric acid builds up in joints and forms hard, sharp crystals that cause pain and irritation to joints, especially when moving them. 

Uric acid is found naturally in the body and is not dangerous in normal amounts. A person’s diet is often cited for causing gout, as the following items may contribute to high uric acid levels in the body.

  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Fruit drinks or foods heavily sweetened with fructose
  • Alcoholic beverages, including red wine and beer

How Can I Treat Gout?

If you are suffering from gout, avoiding the previously listed foods or consuming them in small amounts may improve your symptoms. While diet is a major contributor to gout, you may have symptoms that are not a result of your diet. Even if adjusting your diet helps improve your condition, it is best to be seen by a doctor to keep gout under control.

In addition to diet and lifestyle changes (gout can be aggravated by obesity), there are oral medications that can help reduce the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream.

How to Find A Gout Foot Doctor in Brooklyn, New York City (NYC)

If you are located in the Brooklyn area and believe you may be suffering from gout, Best Foot Doctor of New York City (NYC) can help. Please give our offices a call to schedule an appointment. We treat many individuals who deal with gout and are eager to provide you with help and relief from this condition.

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