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When Gout Goes Untreated 

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00 Written by 

Uric acid is produced as a by-product when the body breaks down purines contained in some of the foods we eat. When uric acid cannot be properly flushed, it can accumulate and crystalize on the joints: most commonly, the big toe joint. If this condition called gout goes untreated, nodules (tophi) can form which can be very painful and debilitating. In these cases where the disease has progressed or infection has set in (and more conservative treatments have not worked), surgery may be necessary. There are different surgical approaches to remove gouty deposits and tophic masses while preserving surrounding tissue. In extreme cases when the joint is severely damaged or unstable, joint replacement or fusion may be necessary to reduce pain. If you have episodes of sharp pain in the joint of the big toe, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist to have your condition properly diagnosed and to explore your treatment options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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