Risk Factors And Potential Causes Of Gout
Gout strikes men more often than women until women undergo menopause, and then women experience increased risk. Being overweight or obese, having recent surgery, and experiencing a trauma also increase your risk, as well as your family history.
Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines a substance found naturally in your body, and also in high-protein red meat, organ meat, and certain types of seafood. In addition, alcoholic drinks, beer, and beverages sweetened with fructose can raise your natural uric acid levels. When your body either creates too much uric acid or excretes too little, it can lead to gout. Hundreds of years ago, gout was called the disease of kings because the average peasant couldnt afford such rich food and drink.
Medical conditions like untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can also increase your chances of developing gout, as does taking certain medications, such as thiazide diuretics and low-dose aspirin.
Diagnosing And Treating Ankle Gout
If youre experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above, consider heading to an ankle and foot specialist to get an official diagnosis, especially if you are trying to rule out other issues or you have underlying health issues that could complicate treatment. If youre otherwise healthy and have a strong suspicion that gout is the problem, you can also try some of the conservative treatment techniques well talk about below from the comfort of your home.
During your diagnostic exam your doctor will conduct a physical exam of the ankle and ask you to perform some manipulation exercises to check your range of motion. Theyll also review your medical data and ask you a few questions about your diet and any medications you take. They can oftentimes make a determination after the physical exam and questions, but a blood test can be used to confirm high levels of uric acid in the body. Imaging tests for gout are rare, but can be effective.
There arent any specific exercises that target ankle gout like there are for other foot conditions, and general exercise for weight control is considered the standard. However, if a flareup makes running or walking uncomfortable, strive to do some limited weight bearing exercises like cycling or swimming.
If you follow these tips and work with a professional, were confident you can get your gout under control. For more information or for help with your condition, reach out to Dr. Silvermans office today.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Why did this happen to me?
- What activities should I avoid? For how long?
- What can I do to manage my pain?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- Was it caused by an infection?
- Do you think I should have surgery?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heel bursitis is a common injury in athletes, active people and people who stand a lot. If you have pain in or around your heel, talk to your healthcare provider. Rest, stretching and strengthening exercises may reduce pain in your foot and ankle. If conservative treatment doesnt provide relief or if heel pain develops at the same as a fever or chills, talk to your healthcare provider.
Read Also: Is Pistachio Bad For Gout
What Triggers Gout Flare
Ankle gout can be extremely painful and can lead to complex conditions if not cared for at initial levels.
Knowing about certain factors that trigger gout pain can be most helpful not only in avoiding the problem but also in curing and managing it effectively.
Following are the most common risk factors which can trigger the problem:
Surprising but true, your diet and food items are one of the major causes of triggering gout pain in your foot and ankle.
Studies reveal that food items such as red meat, organ meat, seafood, and many types of fishes are the foods to avoid with gout as these are purine-rich and cause problems.
Alcohol and beverages that are rich in sugar also increases the levels of uric acid in your body and therefore put you at higher risk of getting intense gout pain.
Medical conditions and Medications:
Health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart, and kidney diseases if left untreated for long can affect your health adversely by causing many future problems like foot gout.
It is therefore good to take necessary preventive measures and regular health check-ups after a certain age so that you can avoid all these conditions easily.
Experts also suggest that you should limit yourself from taking certain medications like diuretics and aspirin which can put you at risk of getting higher gout pain in the ankle as it increases the level of uric acid.
Family History, Age, and Gender:
Besides the above, few other gout risk factors include:
Once Thought To Be A Disease Of The Upper Class Gout Can Affect Anyone Caused By The Buildup Of Uric Acid Salts In The Joints The Big Toe Is The Most Commonly Affected Area
Gout or bunion? Intense pain will usually indicate gout, but only your podiatrist can make a proper determination Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood, passes through your kidneys, and exits your body via urine. But in some people, uric acid isn’t eliminated properly, and levels become too high. This excess uric acid builds up around the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, and severe pain, which is why Gout is classified as a form of arthritis.
Most patients experience their first gout attack in the middle of the night – they wake up to a throbbing pain in the joint just below the big toe , which is frequently swollen as well. Gout may also appear in the arch of your foot, , heel, knee, wrist, fingers, or elbow.
Symptoms of Gout
- Severe pain and a hot feeling in the affected joints, usually appearing first in the . Pain from an untreated gout attack can last for a week or more and then subside, but pain will return within 3 months
- Red skin area around the joint may appear red or purplish
- Stiffness in the joint
- Itchy skin as the gout attack subsides, skin around the joint may itch and peel away
- Small lumps appear around the elbows, hands, or ears
Why some people with high uric acid levels develop Gout and others don’t is not completely understood, but one or more of these factors are thought to contribute:
You May Like: Are Almonds High In Purines
Who Does Heel Bursitis Affect
It most frequently affects people who overuse their ankles without proper conditioning. A sudden increase in walking, running or jumping can cause heel bursitis.
It is important to wear proper footwear, especially when practicing a sport or exercising. Tight-fitting shoes can cause heel bursitis.
Heel bursitis can also affect those who have other disorders, including:
- Haglunds deformity.
Preventing And Treating Gout
When you first come to AllCare Foot & Ankle Center with gout symptoms, we conduct a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment. We typically prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help control symptoms and prevent further joint damage.
If youve already had or continue to have multiple gout attacks, it can lead to a variety of health complications, including the erosion and destruction of your toe joint and the development of kidney stones. This is why preventing future gout attacks is essential for your overall health and wellness, not just for relieving the pain in your toe.
We recommend the following to help prevent future gout flare ups:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Limit or avoid alcoholic drinks
- Reduce meat, poultry, and seafood in your diet
- Consume more low-fat dairy products for protein
- Lose weight, if necessary
The common symptoms of gout arent something you should ignore, and we can help you get it under control. Give us a call at our Arlington or Dallas offices, or request an appointment online today.
You Might Also Enjoy…
You May Like: Is Almond Milk Good For Gout
Can It Lead To Any Complications
If left unmanaged, gout-related inflammation can cause permanent damage to your ankle joint, especially if you have frequent flare-ups.
Over time, lumps of uric acid crystals, called tophi, can also form around your ankle. These lumps arent painful, but they can cause additional swelling and tenderness during a flare-up.
Arthritis / Acute Gout Attack
Gout is a form of arthritis, hence it causes pain and discomfort in the joints. A typical gout attack is characterized by the sudden onset of severe pain, swelling, warmth, and redness of a joint. The clinical presentation of acute gouty arthritis is not subtle with very few mimics other than a bacterial infection.
The joint most commonly involved in gout is the first metatarsophalangeal joint , and is called podagra. Any joint may be involved in a gout attack with the most frequent sites being in the feet, ankles, knees, and elbows.
An acute gout attack will generally reach its peak 12-24 hours after onset, and then will slowly begin to resolve even without treatment. Full recovery from a gout attack takes approximately 7-14 days.
An accurate and colorful discription of a gout attack was elegantly written in 1683 by Dr. Thomas Sydenham who was himself a sufferer of gout:
Read Also: Is Onion Good For Gout
How To Treat Gout In The Ankle
The following are various remedies for gout in the ankle. By addressing gout in ankle symptoms before they get out of control, it can help mitigate pain and swelling. It is recommended to speak to your doctor about particular distressing pain caused by gout as they can provide better-tailored gout ankle treatment.
When Should I See A Healthcare Professional About Foot Or Ankle Pain
Some foot pain can become more than a short-term problem. If you cannot treat the pain yourself or you have a condition that could affect the joints or soft tissue, it may need further investigation.
You should speak to your doctor or a footcare specialist if:
- your pain does not improve in the first few days
- your pain is getting worse
- it is still causing problems after two weeks of self-care
- you have sores that are not healing
- your skin has changed colour especially if its turned dark blue or black
- your foot has changed shape or is really swollen
- you have a high temperature or feel hot and shivery
- it is red, warm, or swollen as you may have an infection
- the problem keeps coming back or lasts longer than three months
- you have an inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma
- you have diabetes
- you are taking steroids, biologics or other drugs that affect your immune system.
Don’t Miss: Almond Milk And Gout
Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Caused By Gout
Plantar fasciitis or heel pain as they call it, is a foot condition caused by inflammation of the plantar aponeurosis and usually a common cause of heel pain but may be caused by gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and unfortunately can prevent you from playing your favorite sports and even taking a walk. If the pain becomes chronic, it can severely reduce your quality of life. Typically, plantar fasciitis is caused by running too much or overuse of your feet from sports activities. Having flat feet or high arches may also make you more prone to suffering from this condition. Wearing uncomfortable footwear can also cause inflammation in the plantar fascia. Actually, wearing uncomfortable shoes is the most common cause of foot pain in general!
The plantar fascia has a number of roles, which include holding parts of your foot together, protecting the plantar surface of your foot from trauma and helping to support your foots longitudinal arch. Usually, with either gout or rheumatoid arthritis there will be what we call edema enlargement adjacent to the plantar fascia which is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your bodys tissues, making every step you take quite painful. Gout sufferers can even feel pain when no pressure is placed on the foot! Think of plantar fasciitis as another gout complication that can occur over time if your gout is not properly treated.
How To Treat Gout In Heel With Home Remedies
Gout is a painful condition of joints, which arises from the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints and surrounding space. Uric acid is a waste product formed by the metabolism of purines.
Normally, uric acid is processed in the kidneys and excreted through urine. When uric acid is produced excessively, it cannot be eliminated by the kidneys. It saturates in the bloodstream and synovial fluid and gets crystallized.
The urate crystals are deposited in the joints and surrounding space, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. This condition is referred to as gout, a form of arthritis. The big toe is the most common site that is affected by gout. However, gout may involve other body parts like foot, heel, fingers, wrists, and hands.
Gout in the heel is a painful condition. However, pain in the heel may result from other conditions like plantar fasciitis. So, the correct diagnosis of gout is very essential to give proper treatment.
Recommended Reading: Black Cherry Juice For Gout Cvs
Treatment For Gout In The Heel
There is no cure for gout, but treatment to limit attacks and control painful symptoms are available.
If your doctor diagnoses gout, they will most likely suggest medication and certain lifestyle changes based on findings in the testing and your current health.
Certain medications treat gout attacks or flare-ups. Others reduce the risk of potential gout complications.
Does Walking Help Gout Pain
It is safe for persons who have gout to wander around. In fact, engaging in joint-friendly activities such as walking can assist to alleviate the symptoms of gout. Gitis is an arthritis that typically affects the big toe joint, although it can also affect the smaller toes, ankles, and knees in certain cases.
Also Check: Cherry Juice For Gout Mayo Clinic
Heel Bursitis: What Does It Mean And What Should You Do
Posterior heel pain is a common condition affecting the general population. When doctors talk about posterior heel pain, they mean pain at the back of the heel rather than under the heel. There are different causes of pain at the back of the heel including heel bursitis, Haglunds deformity, Achilles tendonitis, plantaris tendon, and calcaneal . How can we find the exact cause and how do we treat it?
How Is Heel Bursitis Diagnosed
Before examining your foot, your healthcare provider may ask several questions, including:
- Do you stand a lot?
- What do you do for exercise?
- What types of shoes do you wear?
- Have you had heel bursitis before?
Your healthcare provider will examine your foot. They will:
- Check for swelling.
- Note any tender or painful areas.
- Check your foots range of motion.
- Ask you to stand on your toes or flex your feet.
If your healthcare provider suspects that you have a bacterial infection, they may:
- Ask if you have chills.
- Check your temperature.
- Remove some fluid from the heel bursa with a syringe . They will test the fluid for the presence of bacteria.
Read Also: Almonds Good For Gout
So How Do We Diagnose Achilles Bursa Pain
Overall, diagnosis can be difficult, and often more than one condition can exist at the same time. For example, the factors that cause irritation of the bursa can also cause swelling in the Achilles tendon. Moreover, the formation of a bony spur can also irritate the bursa.
In general, we use a combination of clinical assessment and imaging such as ultrasound to make a correct diagnosis of Achilles bursa pain. Features that would make us think about heel bursitis or Achilles tendonitis include:
- warming up pain at the back of the heel
- pain in the morning on waking
- swelling at the insertion of the Achilles to the heel bone
- pain while wearing tight-fitting shoes
Ultrasound is useful at looking at the structures that can be affected such as heel bursitis, Achilles tendonitis, bony spur, and Haglunds deformity. We only use MRI if we think that the cause of heel pain is related to other structures such as the back of the ankle joint or the heel bone .
Achilles Tendinitis Risk Factors
Risk factors for Achilles tendinitis include:
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop Achilles tendinitis.
- Age: The Achilles tendon weakens with age, making injury more likely.
- Flat feet: Low arches place more strain on the Achilles tendon.
- Obesity: Again, being overweight puts additional strain on your body in numerous ways, particularly the weight-bearing structures of your feet and lower legs.
- Inadequate shoe support: If youre a runner, you need to replace your footwear regularly at least every 300-400 miles.
- Exercising in cold weather: Risk of Achilles tendon injury is higher in cold weather than when its warm.
- Hilly terrain: Running or walking on uneven or hilly terrain also increases the risk of injury.
- Certain medical conditions: Both high blood pressure and psoriasis increase your odds of developing Achilles tendinitis.
- Fluoroquinolones: An antibiotic prescribed to treat certain types of bacterial infections, fluoroquinolones increase your risk for tendinitis.
Recommended Reading: Gout And Tofu
How Is Gout Managed
Here’s the truth: there is no cure for gout, although there are many ways to treat it and prevent flare-ups.
Oddly enough, some people only have a gout flare-up once, while others have flare-ups more often.
So how might you avoid future flare-ups? It makes sense to avoid high-purine foods, but eating a purine-free diet is pretty hard to do.
And though elevated uric acids are a precursor to a gout attack, having high levels doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have an attack. Still, eating and drinking excessive amounts of high-purine foods isn’t good for anyone.