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Gout Specialist

Wake Foot and Ankle Center

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Wake Forest, NC

Gout is a highly painful kind of arthritis that tends to strike your big toe joint. If you suffer from gout, you could have severe bouts of pain and swelling that make it hard to move, which is why it’s crucial to see Wake Foot and Ankle Center podiatrists James Judge, DPM, and Michael Hodos, DPM. They can end your gout pain and also help you prevent flare-ups. Call the Wake Forest, North Carolina, office or use the online booking tool now.

Gout Q & A

What is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when uric acid levels in your joints rise too much. Under normal circumstances, you excrete uric acid through urinary system function. But, if your uric acid levels are too high for your kidneys to process normally, the excess uric acid builds up inside and around your joints and forms crystals. 

These crystals are what triggers joint pain and other gout symptoms. Gout usually affects your big toe but can sometimes develop in other joints.

What are the symptoms of gout?

Gout happens in episodes that typically come on suddenly. Many gout episodes start at night, or even wake you up in the middle of the night. A joint affected by gout grows very swollen and painful. The lightest contact, like a bed sheet, can feel excruciatingly painful during a gout episode. 

You may also develop nodules made of uric acid crystals, called tophi, beneath your skin. Tophi can worsen gout damage by impeding joint movement, eroding your bone, and damaging your cartilage.

If you get treatment, you can reduce the length of the gout episode to around three days instead of the typical 14. Plus, treatment at Wake Forest Foot and Ankle can greatly reduce your symptoms during the episode and help you minimize the risk of future gout episodes. 

How do you treat gout?

Your gout treatment generally starts with some dietary and lifestyle adjustments. 

Dietary changes

Dietary changes focus on reducing purines, as the breakdown of this chemical compound makes uric acid. Although you have a large amount of natural purines in your body, they’re also present in many foods.  

Reducing or eliminating foods and beverages such as red meat, organ meat, seafood, sugary foods, and alcohol can help lower your uric acid levels because they have high purine content. Your Wake Forest Foot and Ankle podiatrist can recommend specific dietary changes.

Medication

Anti-inflammatory medication and corticosteroids can be quite effective for joint pain associated with gout episodes. Your podiatrist may also recommend a medication that lowers your uric acid. 

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotics can take the pressure off your affected toe to help you walk comfortably during a gout episode. 

Prevention is also important, so your Wake Forest Foot and Ankle podiatrist may recommend regular uric acid monitoring and other changes. Get gout pain relief by calling the Wake Forest Foot and Ankle office or using the online scheduler now.