Intense sudden pain in your big toe is a common warning sign of gout, a condition that commonly affects men from age 40-60. Board-certified podiatrists, Brian M. Bowen, DPM, and Timothy J. Mineo, DPM, at Eastside Foot & Ankle are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of gout. They prescribe medication to block acid buildup and relieve your symptoms. Find out more by calling today or booking a consultation online at one of their offices conveniently located in Portland and Gresham, Oregon.
Some people develop gout because their kidneys struggle to remove uric acid, while others get it because their bodies produce too much uric acid.
Gout is most common in your big toe because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes. Since your big toe is the part of your body farthest from your heart, it’s also the coldest body part, making it the most likely target of gout. However, gout can affect any joint in your body.
An attack of gout can be extremely uncomfortable. You typically experience symptoms such as:
It’s common for your symptoms to occur in the middle of the night or as soon as you wake up, although each person is different.
The tendency to accumulate uric acid often runs in families. Certain health conditions and other factors also increase your likelihood of getting gout, including:
Consuming foods and drinks with high levels of purines -- such as shellfish, kidneys or liver and red wine -- may trigger an attack of gout.
A buildup of uric acid causes gout in your tissues or a joint. The condition most commonly affects the joint of your big toe. Gout may come and go, in what is known as attacks.
Although gout is more common in men ages 40-60, it can occur in younger men and women, too.
Uric acid, which is present in your blood, is supposed to be eliminated through urination. However, when you have gout, the uric acid doesn’t flush out as it should, but instead accumulates and crystallizes in your joints.
Your doctor at Eastside Foot & Ankle asks questions about your health and your family medical history, then examines your foot and toe. They sometimes recommend laboratory tests and X-rays to rule out conditions similar to gout.
Your doctor usually prescribes medication. Gout medications can prevent and treat attacks. They also generally recommend drugs to block the production of uric acid and lessen your risk of gout-related complications.
To find out about the treatment options that might be right for you, call Eastside Foot & Ankle today or schedule a consultation online.