The joint disease, gout, affects one in 100 individuals. Men are more likely to develop gout than women and the condition can develop at any time following puberty. The condition affects all ages and all levels of health and fitness. The cause of gout is a deficiency in the way in which the body metabolizes the chemical, uric acid. As a result of this, uric acid is found in the blood in high levels. Uric acid levels in the bloodstream can stay high for many decades before the outward symptoms of gout make themselves apparent. It is possible for an individual to experience high uric acid levels at puberty yet will not develop any other symptoms until their late 30s or 40s.
In acute gout, urate crystals become deposited in the body’s soft tissues, most commonly in one single joint. The big toe is often affected by gout. However, the condition can affect the ankle, wrist, knee, foot and the hand. Gout causes sudden, acute flare-ups in which the affected joint becomes very hot, red and tender. If left untreated, the attack will subside within a few weeks following the initial flare-up. It is likely that another attack will be experienced within six months to two years of the initial attack. In severe gout attacks, several joints may be affected. However, the majority of gout sufferers are able to lead a normal life and experience very few attacks of gout.
Treatment for gout in foot includes immediately embarking on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A general physician may also prescribe a drug known as colchicine or may inject steroids into the affected joint. Gout in the foot can be prevented if the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream are controlled. Treatment for gout in foot therefore includes avoidance of foods rich in purines. This includes oily fish, poultry, pulses and offal. Excessive alcohol intake should be avoided as alcohol consumption can lead to increased uric acid levels. Treatment for gout in foot also includes minimizing the intake of soft beverages that have been sweetened with sugar. Beverages containing artificial sweeteners are not included in this list. Overweight individuals are at an increased risk of developing gout. Therefore, treatment for gout in foot involves either losing weight or maintaining a steady, healthy weight.
While embarking on treatment for gout in foot, it is essential that an individual avoids aspirin, as this drug will increase uric acid levels. A general physician may prescribe a long course of allopurinol or probenecid medication for individuals with permanently high uric acid levels for which other treatment for gout in foot has failed to cure. Allopurinol is a drug that prevents uric acid formulation while probenecid is a medication that increases the amount of uric acid excreted through the kidneys.
While discussing treatment for gout in foot with a general physician, it is essential that an individual informs the physician of any medications they may be taking. Certain medications increase the levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Diuretics are one example of a medication that causes high uric acid levels. Certain diseases can also cause gout. These must be ruled out before embarking on gout treatment.