Gout: A Painful Type of Arthritis


Do you know anyone who has had a gout attack? Have you had one?

Gout is a form of arthritis and, when it flares up, you will experience a sudden and severe burning pain in a joint. The pain may be accompanied by swelling and tenderness. Often the big toe is where gout can settle, but the ankles, wrists, elbows, fingers, and knees can also be the sites of a gout attack.

The gout attack will last about 12 hours, but the discomfort will linger, and the joint will be swollen and warm to the touch.

Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in your blood. When your body breaks down naturally-occurring purines, it produces uric acid. But too much can result in urate crystals being formed. When the crystals settle in the joint, pain and inflammation can be the result.

Am I at Risk for Gout?

There are several risk factors for gout, including:

  • Drinking alcohol, especially beer

  • Drinking fructose-sweetened beverages

  • Eating certain types of meat and seafood-rich diet

  • Having a family history of gout

  • Being overweight

  • Taking some medications like diuretics for hypertension and low-dose aspirin

  • Having certain medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, untreated high blood pressure and heart disease

Treating and Preventing Gout

Without professional treatment, gout will recur and eventually may limit your range of motion. Gout may also cause chronic problems like kidney stones. Prescription medication can help prevent reoccurrence.

You can reduce the risk of a gout attack by:

  • Keeping hydrated with lots of water. Avoid sweetened drinks, especially those containing fructose.

  • Limiting meat, poultry, and fish.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Limit alcohol.

  • Eat low-fat dairy products for some protection against gout and for protein.

We Can Help with the Pain and Discomfort of Gout

The foot specialists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center have extensive experience in treating all aspects of foot problems. Our team of doctors which consists of Dr. Robert Marra, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Kristen Winters, Dr. Laura Vander Poel, and Dr. Ryan Donegan is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Many treatments and surgeries can be handled right in our offices. Please call us at (860) 741-3041 to make an appointment in one of our offices in Hartford County, conveniently located in Enfield, Windsor and South Windsor, CT.