If you’re among the 9 million-plus Americans with gout, you need specialized care for the area it affects. Because gout is most common in the feet and ankles, Kunal Amin, DPM, the board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Cypress Foot & Ankle Center in Cypress, Texas, is the ideal medical provider to accurately diagnose and treat this frustratingly painful condition. Book your appointment online or call the office to schedule your visit today.
Gout, a type of arthritis, occurs when you have hyperuricemia — excess uric acid in your body. Your body produces uric acid as you break down purines, natural chemicals in your body. Some foods also contain purines, including red meat, seafood, alcohol, and high-fructose corn syrup.
If you have too many purines in your body, you may produce too much uric acid. The excess uric acid can accumulate in joints, creating shards that cause the painful symptoms of gout. Gout can affect any joint but is most common in the feet.
Gout often affects the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, the same big toe joint where bunions develop. It may affect the smaller toes and the ankle as well. In most cases, symptoms affect only one joint. Some common symptoms of gout include:
Symptoms occur in bouts (gout attacks). In a gout attack, your symptoms typically build in severity before reaching their peak at 4-12 hours after the attack starts. A gout attack can last as long as a week or two without treatment.
While your symptoms go away after a gout attack, they’re rarely gone for good. Three-quarters of people experience a second gout attack within a year, making it important to get a diagnosis and treatment right away.
Dr. Amin diagnoses gout by gently examining your affected joint and discussing your symptoms with you. Several methods can verify a gout diagnosis, including joint fluid tests, blood tests, X-rays, and ultrasound imaging.
Gout treatment focuses on reducing your symptoms during gout attacks. Dr. Amin may prescribe medications like anti-inflammatory drugs or oral steroids to reduce swelling and pain.
In some cases, he may prescribe medication that reduces your body’s uric acid levels or a drug that helps your body flush uric acid away more effectively.
Dr. Amin can also help you prevent gout flare-ups. Changing your diet to reduce or eliminate foods high in purines can help you prevent gout attacks. If you’re overweight, losing weight can reduce stress on your joints and may lessen the intensity of gout attacks.
Gout responds best to early treatment. If you take action now, you can avoid recurrent attacks, so call Cypress Foot & Ankle Center or click the online booking tool now.