It’s a scenario we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care see fairly often at this time of the year. After a holiday party, a patient wakes up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in the big toe joint. Most often, this is caused by a gout flare up.
Gout occurs when uric acid in your body crystalizes in your joints. This tends to happen in the cooler parts of your body and your feet—being the farthest from your heart—and your big toe in particular is the most likely target of a gout attack. Normally, excess uric acid is eliminated through your urine but if you have indulged in a night of purine-rich foods, your kidneys may not be able to keep up. Foods known to trigger gout are often among holiday favorites and include:
- Red meat
- Organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.)
- Red wine
- Rich sauces
In addition to extreme joint pain, other symptoms of gout are swelling, warmth, or tenderness in the joint as well as stiffness and a reduced range of motion. Gout can be a recurring problem. If you experience an attack, you should make an appointment at our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802) or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) offices as soon as possible. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will perform a complete podiatric examination and then make recommendations for both alleviating your current pain and preventing future attacks. This multifaceted approach may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Rest, ice and elevation of the affected foot
- Corticosteroids (injections or pills)
- Medications to lower uric acid levels in your body
- Weight loss management
Don’t let gout make you wary of enjoying holiday get togethers. Contact us today to learn more about this disorder and how to prevent it.