During the holidays, it is important to be mindful of what you eat and drink. Changes in diet, including overindulging in certain foods and beverages, can cause gout attacks this time of year. Gout attacks are extremely painful. They are caused when uric acid accumulates in the tissues or a joint and crystallizes. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint but can occur in other areas. Patients will notice a red, hot, swollen joint that is painful even to light touch. Often, patients have difficulty walking with a noticeable limp and are in extreme pain.
Foods that are high in purines contribute to uric acid build-up. People that are prone to gout attacks should avoid purine-rich items such as shellfish (shrimp, crab, etc.), organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red meat, coffee, red wine, and beer. In addition, some patients may be more likely to get gout due to genetic factors.
Gout can be treated with medications, diet changes, increasing consumption of appropriate fluids, and immobilizing the foot. In some severe cases, surgery is required to remove the uric acid crystals and repair the joint.
If you believe you are experiencing a gout attack, come see your local Podiatrists at Sol Foot and Ankle Centers for an examination and treatment plan. Generally, we are able to provide same-day appointments so that you can quickly get your pain under control and resume normal daily activities.