More than nine million Americans have gout, a painful type of arthritis that often affects the big toe. At Foot and Ankle Center, LLC, in Marrero, Louisiana, board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons, Catherine Hudson, DPM, Denise Elliott, DPM, and the team regularly diagnose and treat gout using a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication. Call Foot and Ankle Center, LLC, today to request treatment for gout, or book your appointment online.

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What is gout?

Gout is a complex type of inflammation that occurs when urate crystals build up in a joint. Urate crystals form when there are higher-than-average levels of uric acid in your blood. Your body creates uric acid when it breaks down purines –– chemical compounds in certain foods.

Usually, uric acid is filtered by your kidneys and eliminated in your urine. But if your body produces too much or your kidneys don’t effectively manage it, it can build up, causing sharp crystals to form in your joints and surrounding tissues.

What are the symptoms of gout?

Gout symptoms include:

  • Intense joint pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Lingering discomfort

Uric acid crystals can form in any of the joints in your body, but they most commonly occur in the big toe.

Does gout require medical care?

Make an appointment at Foot and Ankle Center, LLC, if you have sudden, intense pain in your big toe joint and it doesn’t respond to ice, rest, or other at-home treatments. That’s particularly true if your joint is red or warm to the touch. Intervention and treatment can reduce your risk of infection or other more serious issues.

How is gout diagnosed?

Your Foot and Ankle Center, LLC, provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and examines your feet and toes. Next, they order several screens, including a blood test, a joint fluid test, and X-rays.

A blood test analyzes the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream while a joint fluid test checks for urate crystals. X-rays can confirm the source of your joint pain and help your provider determine the best treatment.

How is gout treated?

Foot and Ankle Center, LLC, treats gout using a two-pronged approach. The approach uses two types of prescription medication ––  drugs that reduce inflammation and drugs that lower the amount of uric acid in your blood.

Often, these medicines provide significant relief, but if you have severe gout or experience painful attacks throughout the year, your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to block uric acid production or improve uric acid removal.

Call Foot and Ankle Center, LLC, today, to receive treatment for gout, or book your appointment online.