Thanksgiving marks the kick off of a season of holiday eating and at North Jersey Podiatry, we know that means we are going to be seeing more patients with gout flare-ups. Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs as a result of an excessive buildup of uric acid in the joints. When the uric acid crystallizes, it causes extreme pain, swelling, redness, and warmth over the joint. It most often strikes the joint of the big toe, although it can occur in any joint in the body. Gout can be triggered by eating foods that are high in purines, a chemical that produces uric acid when it breaks down in the body. Flare-up foods include: red meat, shellfish, organ meats (liver, kidney, etc.), red wine, beer, and rich sauces. The tendency for gout can be inherited. Other risk factors are:
- High blood pressure
- Recent surgery
- Certain medications and vitamins
If you believe you are suffering from gout, make an appointment at our Wayne, New Jersey office. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, will examine the affected joint and get a medical history. X-rays and/or laboratory tests may be ordered to rule out other causes for the joint pain and inflammation. If a diagnosis of gout is confirmed, the foot doctor will most likely prescribe medications or injections to treat the pain and inflammation. Other treatments may include one or more of the following:
- Avoiding foods high in purines
- Drinking plenty of fluids to flush uric acid out of the body and avoiding alcoholic beverages which cause dehydration.
- Resting the affected foot and elevating it to help reduce swelling.
A gout attack will usually subside in three to ten days but if symptoms continue after the initial treatment or if attacks recur, the foot doctor may want to put you on a daily maintenance medication to ward off future attacks.
To learn more, contact us by calling: (973) 595-1555.