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Posts for category: Gout

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 27, 2018
Category: Gout
Tags: Arthritis   Gout  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we start to see more cases of gout at this time of the year. The reason? One of the most common triggers of gout attacks is related to the rich food patients enjoy during this festive season.

What is Gout?

Gout is actually a form of arthritis. This is not surprising when you consider the symptoms: extreme pain in the joint accompanied by swelling, inflammation, and heat. Gout occurs when an excessive amount of uric acid accumulates in a joint and crystallizes. Cold temperatures increase the likelihood of crystallization and that is why the big toe joint—being the part of the body furthest from the heart—is the most common location for gout to develop (although it can happen in any joint in your body). The big toe joint is also subject to much pressure when you walk, and this may be another reason for it being a frequent site of gout.

Uric acid is a byproduct of purines—chemicals that occur naturally in the body and are also found in certain foods. People who get gout may either overproduce uric acid or have difficulty eliminating it from the body. The tendency for gout can also be inherited.

Steps Toward Prevention

Anyone who has ever suffered a gout attack will want to be proactive in avoiding future attacks. Gout is very painful and will often wake a patient up out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night. The pain may last for several hours or even days before subsiding. Once you’ve had gout, there is a good chance of it recurring. Some ways to prevent future attacks include:

  • Avoiding foods high in purines. On this list is: red meat, red wine, beer, shellfish, rich sauces, brandy, lentils, and beans.
  • Doing an assessment of the vitamins and medications you are currently taking with your physician or pharmacist. Certain ones have been associated with an increased risk of gout.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and taking good care of your feet. In some cases, special shoes may be prescribed to help relieve gout symptoms. If you have questions about gout and your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe, Linden or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050. Our expert podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will be happy to evaluate your feet and advise you of your best options.
By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
January 03, 2018
Category: Gout
Tags: Diabetes   Gout  

During the holiday season, Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care often sees an increase in the number of treatment for gout cases. Why? One of the most common triggers of gout attacks are eating foods high in a chemical called purines. Purines increase the amount of uric acid in your body. Excess uric acid that builds up in a joint can crystallize, which can cause the extreme pain that is characteristic of a gout attack. Foods that contain large amounts of purines include many holiday favorites, such as red meat, shellfish, rich sauces, red wine, beer and alcoholic beverages. In addition, overindulging over the holidays can lead to weight gain, which is also associated with gout. Other factors that can increase your risk for this painful condition include:

  • Genetics
  • Diseases such as: high blood pressure, leukemia, thyroid disorders, kidney disease, blood vessel diseases and diabetes
  • Taking certain medications and vitamins
  • Stress
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery

Diagnosis and Treatment

The symptoms of gout are fairly straightforward: excruciating joint pain accompanied by redness and swelling around the joint. Gout frequently strikes in the big toe joint, perhaps because it is subject to excessive amounts of pressure from walking and is the farthest joint from the heart (uric acid responds to cooler temperatures). Gout is also more likely to strike men than women, especially men between 40 and 60 years of age.

Our foot doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to get a complete medical history if you believe you may have gout. Our podiatrists will then examine the affected joint and may order x-rays or laboratory tests to rule out other possible conditions. Treatments for gout include medications, icing the affected joint, resting and elevating your foot at or above the level of your heart. Gout can become a recurring problem and the foot doctor may prescribe maintenance medication to avoid future attacks.  The doctor may also recommend modifications to your diet such as increasing your fluid intake to help the kidneys flush excess uric acid from your body. For more information, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling: 732-662-3050.

 

We’ve all heard about this thing called gout, and I’m sure everyone associates it with their feet. But what exactly is this condition and how do people get it?  Gout is a build-up of uric acid within the joints of the body. Wait, what is uric acid? It is a waste product of metabolism in your body; it is made when the food you make is broken down. When this builds up in the joints it is similar to arthritis.

Certain people are more likely to have this happen than other people. There is a genetic link to it, so if someone in your family develops gout it is more likely that you will develop it compared to someone who has never had someone in their family develop it. Men between the ages of 40 and 60 are more likely to develop it, and a diet including high amount of meat, seafood and beer increase the chances of this developing.

The common symptoms of gout in the foot include pain and swelling of the joints; red, shiny skin around the joint; itchy and flaky skin of the joint. These symptoms will appear very quickly, last for around a week then disappear. The big toe is the most common place for this to occur, however it can also occur in the other toes and heel.

Your local podiatrist Dr. Gujral at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care can diagnose this condition by using the serum uric acid test or by examining the synovial fluid of the joint. The serum uric acid test is done by drawing blood from the arm and checking for raised uric acid levels in the blood. Synovial fluid is the fluid that lines all the joints of your body to make them move, some of this fluid can be taken out of the affected joint and looked at under a microscope to look for the presence of the gout.

Gout is treated with medications and lifestyle changes to prevent future occurrences of the condition. The medications required are urate lowering therapies, these medications reduce urate levels in the body to a point below where crystals can form, and they dissolve existing crystals. Applying ice and taking Tylenol can help relieve the symptoms also. Some lifestyle changes, mostly in diet, will be required so this doesn’t happen again in the future. Cutting down on certain meats like liver, venison, kidney and turkey and other foods like seafood, spinach and asparagus will be recommended.

If you believe you have symptoms of gout, please call our office and make an appointment.  We have two offices and we are conveniently located in Edison and in Monroe, NJ.

 

By Varun Gujral