Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, LLC
Daniel D. Michaels, DPM, MS, DABFAS
Podiatrist located in Hagerstown, MD & Frederick, MD
Gout is a form of arthritis that can flare up, causing excruciating pain in the joint in your big toe. During these episodes, Daniel Michaels, DPM, MS, DABFAS, at Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, provides same-day relief from the pain, as well as management strategies to help with future flare-ups of this painful condition. If you’re dealing with recurring gout attacks, call one of the two locations in Hagerstown or Frederick, Maryland, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.
Gout Q & A
What is gout?
There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, which is a catchall term for diseases that cause inflammation and pain in your joints. Gout falls into this category because of its effects on your joints, namely the one in your big toe.
Gout is characterized by flare-ups, which come and go unpredictably, making it tricky to manage this chronic disease. While there’s no cure for gout, there’s much you can do with Dr. Michaels to manage the flare-ups.
What causes gout?
The exact cause of gout is a buildup of uric acid in your joints, which forms sharp crystals inside the joint. Your body produces uric acid to break down purines, which are found in your body and the foods you eat, primarily red meat, organ meat, and seafood.
While everyone produces uric acid, some people produce too much or their kidneys don’t process the acid sufficiently, leaving an excess in their system.
There are factors that put people more at risk of gout, including:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Diet rich in purines
- Cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure
By better managing these risk factors, you can reduce your chances of developing gout or prevent flare-ups of existing gout.
What are the symptoms of gout?
The hallmark of gout is pain that comes on suddenly in your big toe, though the disease can affect your smaller toes, as well as your ankles or knees. A flare-up can last for a day or for weeks, and then go away for months or even years.
Along with the pain, you may experience redness, swelling, and tenderness in your joint.
How is gout treated?
If you’re having a gout attack, Dr. Michaels’ primary goal is to stop your immediate pain, which he does through medications that provide relief before the day is out. Once your gout flare-up is under control, Dr. Michaels works with you to reduce your risks of another attack by addressing some of the risk factors that may exacerbate your gout. These include:
- Weight loss
- Nutrition changes
- Managing pre-existing medical conditions
- Limiting alcohol
For both immediate relief and long-term solutions, call Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute or fill out the online form to request an appointment at one of the two locations.
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