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The prevalence of gout is on the rise year after year. If you have unexplained foot and ankle pain or know you have a history of gout, schedule an exam at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County today. The specialized team of podiatrists at the Watsonville and Santa Cruz, California, clinics can treat your case of gout and help you prevent future issues. Book your gout evaluation by clicking on the online scheduling feature, or by calling your closest location directly.

Gout Q & A

What are the symptoms of gout?

Gout is notorious for causing agonizing joint pain, often in your big toe, although it can affect other joints, too. Some of the initial warning signs of gout include:

  • Lingering discomfort after an intense pain attack
  • Redness or swelling over the affected joint
  • A joint that feels warm to the touch
  • Limited range of motion

The most common complaint about gout discomfort is that pain is usually most severe about 4-12 hours after it begins. If you keep suffering from gout attacks without getting proper treatment from a qualified podiatrist, your joint can become very large as swelling continues to build up.

Why do I have gout?

Gout is generally tied to being overweight and having a poor diet high in purines. Steak, organ meats, and seafood are some of the richest sources of purines. When your body breaks down purines, it converts them into uric acid.

Normally, your body just flushes out uric acid. But if it continues to build up in your blood, it can form crystals that accumulate in your joints. This is gout. Drinking excessive amounts of beer and sweetened beverages can also boost your uric acid levels and increase your risk of gout.

You may have a higher chance of developing gout if it runs in your family. Or you could develop it because you take certain medications, like thiazide diuretics. Gout also most commonly affects men between the ages of 30-50, while women usually don’t have issues with gout until after menopause.

What is the treatment for gout?

The first step in treating gout is relieving any current pain and inflammation with anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, or corticosteroid injections. Once your specialized podiatrist at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County helps you start feeling better, they can work with you to design a lasting treatment plan to prevent future gout attacks.

Part of your gout treatment might include medication to block the uric acid production or to improve uric acid removal. Your podiatry team also counsels you on lifestyle and dietary changes you need to make to reduce uric acid buildup. If needed, your podiatrist can work closely with your primary care physician to help you reach a healthier weight as well.

The podiatrists at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County offer flexible scheduling for gout exams. Book yours online, or call your nearby clinic.