I am experiencing pain and swelling in my big toe; could it be gout? Flares of gout hit the base of the big toe that is common with gout. Gout symptoms may start with some swelling and tingling sensation. It quickly turns to extremely painful, red, and swollen; the pain is intolerable. Patients should seek gout treatment immediately, but they ignore the pain until they cannot walk or put on shoes. Some even mistakenly think it is a toe injury that will go away.
Gout attacks are sudden without prior warning signs; it happens in the middle of the night. The first episode can last a few days or even weeks. Some patients have frequent flares, while others take even a year before it happens again. Gout is intense pain and inflammation in the joints and soft tissue because of the excess build-up of uric acid crystals.
Gout is an inflammatory arthritis affecting one joint at a time. The condition is also known as hyperuricemia, characterized by too much uric acid present in the body. The body is responsible for uric acid production as waste when it is breaking down purines from foods we eat. Once there is extra uric acid in the body, the acidic crystals build up in joints, tissues, and fluids inside the body. Hyperuricemia does not always cause gout, however, if the condition is without gout symptoms, there is no need to treat it.
Foods trigger an attack by raising uric acid levels. Foods that cause gout are high in purine, a natural substance in foods. People with gout cannot efficiently remove excess uric acid from their bodies, causing accumulation and an attack.
Foods that trigger gout attacks contain moderate to a high number of purines.
Organ meats include liver, brain, kidneys, and sweetbreads.
Game meats like veal, pheasant, and venison.
Seafood such as crab, shrimp, scallops, and roe.
Fish including tuna, herring, haddock, trout, sardines, and mackerel.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and fructose increase the risk of developing gout or cause gout attacks. These include sugary sodas and fruit juices.
Added sugars such as honey, high -fructose corn syrup, and agave nectar.
Yeasts including nutritional yeast, yeast supplements, and brewers’ yeast.
Refined carbs from cakes, white bread, and cookies.
Gout can be treated with medications and self-management strategies. Both methods have three roles to reduce inflammation, pain, and gout attacks. There are conventional treatments and traditional treatments.
Self-management strategies include adjusting your diet to reduce the number of acute gout attacks by lowering the level of uric acid in the blood. Some dietary adjustments include
Eliminate or reduce alcohol (beer).
Drink a lot of non-alcoholic drinks, mainly water.
Eat non-fat or low-fat dairy products.
Take soy products, low-fat dairy products, and vitamin C to prevent gout attacks.
The intake of high-fat dairy products or full-fat products does not affect uric acid levels.
Eating high purine vegetables does not trigger gout attacks.
Take plant-based proteins like legumes and beans.
Eat complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain bread.
Gout usually affects the feet and is a complex form of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid. Its characterized by severe attacks to the joints causing tenderness, redness, swelling, and pain especially, the big toe joint. Gout in the foot treatment is important because it slowly harms tissues around the inflamed area.
You can take over-the-counter prescription or NSAIDs at the onset of the initial attack. When buying over the counter drugs, avoid aspirin because it contains acetylsalicylic acid that worsens gout. Discuss with your doctor before continuing with the over-the-counter drugs, to avoid other potential side effects such as increased blood pressure.
Take prescribed drugs by your physician. Some prescribed drugs include colchicine and prednisolone taken as oral tablets.
Apply ice to the inflamed joint throughout the day for about 20 minutes a time. It dulls pain signals and decreases inflammation.
Rest the affected joint to reduce pain and ease the pressure. Prop the foot up with a footstool or a pillow.
Keep your feet comfortable to get some Gout pain relief. Wear roomy slippers or footwear to keep pressure off until the pain subsides.
Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day to remove uric acid from your body system. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol that can make gout worse.
Gout attack lasts from three and ten days, and it can take a few months before it happens. It is common to find it difficult to walk or stand after an attack because of swelling and pain. Keeping mobile can be painful however, to others, it eases the pain. Feel energized and increase your range of motion and exercise to reduce weight. Having excess weight leads to excess uric acid in the body. Physical activity should be part of your life. It is difficult to walk on the usual shoes because of swelling and pain. Bigger footwear will give you comfort while walking and standing.
Aerobic exercises boost endurance and increases the heart race.
Flexibility exercise improves your range of motion.
Strengthening exercise increases the strength of the joints by lifting weights and resistance exercises.
A vital part of effective gout treatment is you will be forced to adopt healthy lifestyle habits to reduce the risk of gout attacks. If you experience symptoms of gout, visit a doctor for gout treatment because, if left untreated for long, it will lead to joint damage and frequent gout attacks. If you are dealing with gout in the foot, you may want to seek help from a foot and ankle doctor. Feel free to contact our office to make an appointment with our podiatrist. Our foot and ankle doctor, Dr. Ejodamen Shobowale will provide you with the care you need to keep you pain-free on your feet.