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Posts for tag: 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
May 21, 2018
Category: Bone health
Tags: Arthritis   Gout  

Did you know that arthritis is an umbrella term that includes more than 100 different types of joint diseases? It’s also the leading cause of disability in the United States. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know how debilitating joint pain in your feet and ankles can be. In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, we want to encourage our patients to take steps now to prevent arthritis. It’s never too early or too late to start!

Changing What You Can

There are definitely factors that increase your risk of developing arthritis that you have no control over, such as your sex, age, and family history. But there are plenty of lifestyle choices you can make that will significantly lower your chances of getting a joint disease, including:

  1. Playing it safe—many times the site of a knee, ankle or another joint injury later becomes a place in your body where arthritis sets in. You can reduce your risk of arthritis by taking proper safety precautions when driving and playing sports. Avoiding an injury now can help prevent arthritis down the road.
  2. Quit smoking—this has been tied to an increased risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  3. Watch your weight—osteoarthritis—the “wear and tear” kind where cartilage and joint tissue breaks down with age, is the most common form of arthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight means less pressure over time on the joints of your lower extremities.
  4. Exercise regularly—weight-bearing exercise helps strengthen bones and joints. Exercise also helps keep joints flexible and increases the range of motion—it’s the old “use it or lose it” strategy and it definitely applies to keeping joints healthy and being able to stay active.
  5. Choose foods carefully—in the case of gout (a form of arthritis that often affects your big toe), certain foods that are high in purines can be directly linked to attacks. Patients who suffer from this form of arthritis can lower the chances of an attack by not eating shellfish, red meat, red wine, rich sauces, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

If you notice the joints in your feet or ankles beginning to get stiff, painful or sore, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, New Jersey offices for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. There are other causes of joint discomfort besides arthritis and our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet, take your medical history, and help track down the cause of joint pain while it is in its earliest and most treatable stages.

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.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
December 29, 2016
Tags: Gout  

Chances are if you’ve had an attack of gout it was memorable. Extreme, throbbing pain in a very swollen big toe which often comes on in the middle of the night and lasts for several hours before subsiding is typical. Also known as gouty arthritis, this condition occurs as a result of an excessive amount of the salts or uric acid (known as purines) building up and crystallizing in the joints. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our patients to know more about this condition and how to prevent it.

Why Here, Why Now?

Although gout can strike any joint, the big toe is the most common site of this affliction. Two reasons for this being: uric acid is sensitive to temperature and is more likely to crystallize when it’s cold. Not only is it winter, but your big toe is the part of your body farthest from the heart and therefore it’s the coldest. The other significant factor is that your big toe joint is exposed to an extreme amount of pressure when you walk. Your diet can also play a key role in triggering gout. Red meat, shellfish, rich sauces, brandy, beer and wine have all been linked to gout attacks and these types of food are served in abundance during the holiday season.

What Can Be Done?

Once you’ve had gout, it’s likely to reoccur in the same toe. One of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to examine your toe and also get a complete medical history. Most likely the foot doctor will ask questions about your recent activities and diet. During a gout attack, icing the big toe or applying a cooling lotion may help reduce the pain and swelling. On an ongoing basis, the podiatrist may prescribe medication and suggest dietary modifications to help prevent future attacks. Sometimes the foot doctor may recommend shoes that are specially made to help minimize gout-related pain.

If you have additional questions about the painful condition of gout, please contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office.

By Nrupa Shah
December 16, 2015
Category: Foot Pain

Black Friday recently passed us by but for many, Christmas is fast approaching and you still need to find that perfect gift for someone on your list. With the temperatures dropping and people scrambling around shopping, this is the time of the year where many accidental foot injuries will occur. With icy sidewalks and slick store floors, it is very easy to slip and sprain your ankle or cause other foot injuries. We here at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care have some tips for keeping your feet healthy this holiday season.

  • Wear shoes that fit – Before you go out and hit the stores and malls, make sure you have a good pair of shoes for walking. You definitely don’t want to hit the mall in high heeled shoes or tight narrow shoes. You want shoes that fit both the length and width of your feet and are snug but not too snug because with all the walking, your feet are bound to swell up. The shoes should have a good arch support and should provide good shock absorption.

 

  • Watch what you eat – Did you know that what you eat and drink can wreak havoc on your feet? Certain food and drinks such as red meats, shellfish, and red wine just to name a few, are high in purines. Purines lead to uric acid accumulation in the blood which tends to crystallize in joints. The most common joint affected by this is the big toe joint and when this happens, it is known as gout. Gout attacks are very painful and if you experience one it is best to avoid eating whatever may have triggered it.

 

  • Beware of Nail Salons – Many like to make their nails pretty for the holiday but remember, nail salons are an easy place to pick up bacterial infections. To reduce the risk of infection, go to salons that are state certified and make sure that the instruments are sterilized before being used on you. Also, you may consider bringing your own pedicure set and sterilizing it on your own.

 

  • Be careful around ice and snow – Winter brings with it a lot of snow and ice and with that comes lots of slipping and sliding both outdoors and indoors. When people track snow in from outdoors it creates wet slippery entry ways in stores so caution must be taken when entering and leaving stores not to slip in the entrance. Also, icy sidewalks and parking lots are real danger zones and easy places for slipping and falling in the winter. Also, road conditions can be less than stellar in the winter so use caution with driving and give other cars plenty of room to avoid accidents.

 

 We here at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care hope that these tips will lead to a healthy and happy holiday season for you and your family. If you experience any foot problems or would like more information about foot safety tips, please make an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe, NJ.

By Nrupa Shah