Your local foot and ankle institute has the ability to correctly diagnose and treat your foot and ankle pain. If you think you suffer from gout, make sure you know how to detect a gout flare-up. It is also important to know when to seek professional treatment.
A doctor will be able to run tests to properly diagnose gout. They will also be able to suggest home remedies you can try before moving on to other medical forms of treatment.
Why Does Gout Occur
Only about four percent of people in the U.S. have gout and usually it is men who are diagnosed with the condition. The people who tend to get gout have trouble processing uric acid or just have more in general. Some evidence shows it could have genetic factors.
Consuming certain foods and drinks can increase the risk factor of getting gout, so you should avoid eating high-purine food and consuming food and beverages that increase uric acid production. Maintaining a healthy weight also helps reduce your risk.
How To Detect a Gout Flare-Up
Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when you have an excess buildup of uric acid in your blood that has crystallized and collected in one or more joints (often in the foot or ankle). A gout flare-up can happen quickly and suddenly and is accompanied by specific signs and symptoms such as burning or tingling in your joint.
You might notice that the affected joint gets stiff or achy. Gout can affect your toe joints, ankle joints, and even your knee joints. After the flare-up has started, you might also notice swelling, redness, and extraordinary pain in and around the affected joint.
At-Home Gout Treatment
There are several things you can do at home to help treat your gout and its accompanying pain. Home treatments for gout include making dietary adjustments and forming healthy habits. Your doctor might suggest trying home remedies before beginning any medical treatments. They might also suggest trying the at-home treatments along with any recommended medications as part of your care plan.
Food and Drinks to Avoid
In order to better manage your gout, try avoiding the following foods and drinks:
- Sugary drinks like soda or sweet tea
- Red meats
- Organ meats
Your body produces more uric acid when it breaks down these specific foods and drinks.
If you are looking to reduce any pain associated with a gout flare-up, there are a few things you can do at home. The first thing you can do is apply a cold ice pack to the joint that is experiencing pain. The next thing you can do is make sure you rest the joint. Do not put too much stress on the affected. Finally, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen.
When To Seek Professional Treatment for Gout
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms related to gout or a gout flare-up, you should contact your doctor. After you have been diagnosed, you will need to contact your doctor if:
- you experience fever or chills related to a flare-up
- the symptoms have not gotten any better for two days following the beginning of the flare-up
- the flare-up symptoms have lasted longer than seven days
Your doctor will be able to suggest at-home treatments, or they may decide that medical treatment options should be started.
Medical Gout Treatment Options
If at-home treatments are not improving your gout or reducing the number of gout flare-ups that you experience, talk to your doctor. They will be able to come up with a treatment plan to help you. The treatment plan may include prescription medication like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. If that does not work, the doctor may prescribe steroids or other types of medication that reduce inflammation or that prevent the chance of another flare-up.
Improve Foot Health Through the Foot and Ankle Institute
If you suspect that you have gout in your foot and ankle, you do not need to suffer. Work with a doctor at your local foot and ankle institute to get started on treatment options. Your doctor will be able to make a diagnosis, develop a treatment plan, and get you the relief you need.