More than 8 million Americans have gout today. If you have big toe pain and stiffness, the Columbus Foot & Ankle, P.C. team, including Troy Espiritu, DPM, FACFAS, and Nicholas Smith, DPM, MS, FACFAS, can diagnose and treat gout effectively at the Columbus, Georgia, facility. Click on the provided booking tool or call the office to arrange your appointment now.
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, painful attacks within a joint. 90% of gout attacks affect one joint.
More than half of all gout attacks affect the big toe — the same joint where bunions usually occur. But, gout can also occur in other joints in your feet, ankles, or other parts of your body.
Gout symptoms commonly include:
Gout attacks often occur at night and may cause such severe symptoms that they wake you up. Even the slightest touch may cause terrible pain when you’re having a gout flare-up.
Gout can also cause kidney stones, in which the uric acid crystals form stones inside your kidneys. Tophi — large skin bumps that form atop collections of uric acid crystals — can be another complication of gout.
Gout occurs when you have too much uric acid in your blood. The uric acid forms tiny crystals that grow inside your joint and trigger gout flare-ups.
Uric acid is a chemical that your body produces when it breaks down purines — naturally occurring substances within the body. Your body makes about 66% of all uric acid, and the rest comes from the breakdown of purines found in foods like liver, beans, and some fish.
Usually, uric acid disintegrates within your blood, and you eventually eliminate it in your urine. About 90% of people with gout don’t flush uric acid out of their body efficiently. The other 10% produce excessive uric acid.
Your risk of gout increases if you have a family history of the disease or if you currently have diabetes, kidney disease, or high blood pressure.
Gout diagnosis normally involves a careful physical exam of the affected joint and a blood test. The team may also need to withdraw a small sample of the fluid around your joints, so they can perform lab tests to check for uric acid crystals.
Gout treatment focuses on reducing uric acid and controlling your pain and other symptoms. The Columbus Foot & Ankle, P.C. team, may prescribe oral medication to reduce uric acid levels alongside pain relief measures like oral medication. Lifestyle modifications, like diet changes, may also help to reduce gout flare-ups.
If you have gout-related complications in other parts of your body, such as kidney stones, or if gout affects an area outside of your feet and ankles, the podiatry team can work with a medical doctor to provide complete head-to-toe solutions for gout.
For gout pain relief, call Columbus Foot & Ankle, P.C., or book your appointment through online scheduling now.