Common Signs of Gout

Whether you run marathons, go for leisurely walks with friends, or just putter around your house, the common denominator is how much you rely on your feet. 

No matter how you use your feet, one thing is certain: The constant use leaves them vulnerable to often-painful issues. Depending on the severity of your pain, even the most basic tasks can seem nearly impossible. 

If your pain is in the joints of one foot, or even both feet, especially the big toes, you could have gout. As always, the first step in finding relief from your pain is to find out what is causing it. That’s where our expert comes in. 

Dr. Michael Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine specializes in identifying the root cause of your foot problems and creating a treatment plan that works best for you. 

What is gout?

You wouldn’t know it from the name, but gout is a type of arthritis because it affects your joints. It develops when crystalized urate gathers in your joints, specifically your big toe joint. The crystals build up when you have higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in your blood, typically caused by a poor diet. 

Foods like red meat and seafood, as well as alcoholic and super sugary beverages, lead to increased levels of uric acid. When your blood can’t remove the uric acid, the excess gathers into pain-inducing crystals. 

Gout that goes untreated may turn into recurring gout, kidney stones, or advanced gout, which leads to more crystalized buildups in joints elsewhere in your body. 

What are the warning signs of gout?

There are a few telltale signs that you’re suffering from more than a sore toe. Pay attention to these warning signs of gout. 

Severe joint pain

Urate crystals in your joints cause extreme pain that can often wake you up in the middle of the night. Some patients have reported feeling their big toe was on fire. 

While gout typically affects the big toe, it can affect other joints like your knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, and fingers. Come see Dr. Blackwell for joint pain that is sudden and intense. 

Lingering pain

Not only can gout bring on a sudden attack of severe pain, but it can also keep you in discomfort for days or weeks after. The longer you wait to receive treatment, the greater your risk of experiencing worsening attacks down the road. 

Raging inflammation and redness

Pain coupled with hot skin, swelling, redness, and tenderness is a recipe for gout. All of these symptoms presenting at the same time is cause for concern and should be evaluated by Dr. Blackwell. 

Decreased mobility

Because there’s an accumulation of crystals in your joints causing inflammation, you’ll likely start to notice limited or lack of range of motion in addition to other symptoms. This can get worse as your gout progresses. 

How can you treat your gout?

Your path to freedom from gout begins with an evaluation. Dr. Blackwell meets with you and conducts a thorough investigation into your symptoms and your medical history. From there, he customizes a treatment plan that could include:

Don’t let gout pain sideline you. Instead, let us help keep you moving with our expert and comprehensive care. 

If you’d like more information or would like to get started with a consultation, call our Shenandoah or Tomball, Texas, offices or book an appointment online. You can also send a message to Dr. Blackwell and the team here on our website.

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