If you are suffering from extreme pain in your foot joints, especially your big toes or toes, you may have something called gout. What is gout? Gout is a very painful inflammatory condition that affects your joints, usually in your foot and specifically your big toe. Eating foods high in uric acid causes the acid to form into knife-like crystal which painfully imbed themselves into the soft parts of your joints. Pain is usually extreme feeling much like a pulsating broken bone.
Risk factors for gout include:
- Obesity – the heavier you are the more uric acid you develop and the harder it is for the kidneys to push out
- Poor diet – eating foods high in uric acid – organ meats, some seafood, gravy, etc.
- Age and sex – men usually have higher uric acid levels earlier from ages 30 to 50. Women can increase the levels after menopause
- Family history – can be passed down from member to member
- Medical conditions – some conditions like untreated high blood pressure and diabetes can increase your chances of getting gout
Making sure your diet is correct is crucial. You need to make sure you avoid certain types of gout producing foods.
Foods to avoid:
- Organ meats – kidneys, liver, heart, brain
- Shellfish and seafood – sardines, anchovies, mussels, crab, lobster, and shrimp
- Cauliflower – can contribute
- Mushrooms – may have higher uric acid
- Sweetbread – made with organ meats
- Alcohol – can include beer, wine and other
Treatment for gout includes:
- Better diet – avoid red meat, shellfish, other
- Drink plenty of fluids – fluids will help push out uric acid
- Avoid alcohol – reduce beer, wine and other
- Pain meds – medicine with Ibuprofen can reduce swelling and pain but can also severely damage your organs if you do not take as prescribed. See your podiatrist for medicine
- Colchicine – short term treatment
- Allopurinol – long term treatment that reduces uric acid levels
- Cherry juice – said to have anti-gout properties
If you believe you have or are developing gout or have any other concerns about the health of your feet, make an appointment with us here at Gentle Touch Footcare. Our doctors Bruce Theall, DPM and Priscilla Seshie, DPM will diagnose your feet and apply the most appropriate treatment. Our offices are located at 310 central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018. Our phone number is 973-673-3668 and our website is www.drtheall.com