Introduction to Gout
Gout can be a painful condition, which often affects men rather, then women. The most common age group that is affected is between 50-60, however, it can occur in young males and females. It has been referred to as an acquired disease or a form of arthritis. The inflammation and pain in the joint is caused due to a build up of excess uric acid crystals. It can affect other parts of the body such as the hands.
- Photograph 1.
It usually affects the big toe but can affect other areas around the feet. (refer to picture)
- Gout results in a red, swollen, painful toe.
Symptoms of Gout
- Sudden intense throbbing pain accompanied by redness and swelling.
- Episodes of attack, with the attacks lasting approximately 3-5 days. These attacks may occur in the middle of the night.
Conditions that Resemble Gout
- Osteoarthritus of the 1st toe
- Injury to the toe.
- Inflammatory arthritis of the foot.
What your Chiropodist will do:
- The initial diagnosis of the condition is extremely important. The patients history of the onset of the disorder and a visual examination of the area will confirm the diagnosis. The chiropodist may request that you have x-rays taken of your foot. This will enable the chiropodist to make a diagnosis of the condition. When a patient has suffered from gout for a considerable amount of time, the x-ray may show destruction of the joint. Blood tests may also show elevated uric acid levels.
- The chiropodist may recommend a course of medication to your GP. This will provide immediate relief of the symptoms. A medication named Allopurinal is often used to treat gout.
- In extreme cases, the chiropodist may recommend surgery to remove gouty deposits.
- Orthosis and shoe stretching may also help to alleviate the symptoms.
- Protective shields and padding can also relieve pressure from the affected toe.