Lifestyle Changes To Help Foot Gout
Treating foot gout in the long-term requires a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. After you have taken the right medication to treat your gout flare and manage uric acid levels, you should be taking steps to correct your lifestyle. Theres only so much pills can do so its important to accompany it with habits that support your condition.
Start with your weight. You probably have gout because you are overweight or obese. You want to lose the excess fat since that contributes to the strain you feel on your feet. Exercising regularly and cutting back on food intake can significantly help with your goal of losing weight.
Only go for real whole foods and avoid items that trigger your gout such as processed foods. I recommend the 80-10-10 diet where 80 percent of your daily calories consists of complex carbohydrates, 10 percent as protein and the final 10 percent as fat.
Its important that you learn how your body reacts to each food item as every person has a different physiology. What may trigger an attack on you may do nothing for the other person. Start by eliminating common culprits such as sugar, alcohol, seafood, and organ meats.
You may need to keep a diary to track your food and medication. That way whenever you have a gout attack in your foot, you can trace back what you ate and learn what caused the trigger.
How Long Gout Pain Lasts
Characteristically, gout pain comes on rapidly and the joint becomes red and swollen, with the swelling reaching a peak within the first 24 hours of the attack, Dr. FitzGerald explains.
At first, gout usually affects just one joint, but can affect more than one joint, sometimes adjacent joints. Flares typically resolve on their own over the next seven to 14 days. Treating a gout flare with medications can help it resolve faster. Medications for gout flares typically include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen
A gout attack may occur only one or two times a year or even only a few times ever. However, gout can become chronic, leading to frequent attacks and flares that occur at least a few times a year or never completely resolve. Chronic gout can damage and deform joints and can sometimes be mistaken for other inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
The Pain And Swelling Of Gout Can Be Easily Treated
October 17, 2012 | Blog
Gout is actually a form of arthritis that commonly affects the big toe in men. It may cause a sudden burning pain in one of your joints, or stiffness and swelling in one or more joints. Attacks of gout can happen repeatedly unless it is treated. Eventually, gout attacks can cause long-term damage to your tendons, joints, and soft tissues.
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When To See A Doctor
Consider making an appointment as soon as you feel pain on the top of your foot.
Pain in this area is not normal, and may indicate a much more serious condition which should be treated as soon as possible.
Left untreated, the underlying cause of the pain might require more extensive treatment and treatment may be less likely to alleviate the problem.
Take Your Prescription Drugs
If you’ve had a gout attack before, your physician may have prescribed drugs to treat attacks. This may be your first line of defense or you may decide to use them only when NSAIDs fail to relieve your pain.
Prescription medications to treat gout include:
- Prednisolone oral tablets, which has been shown to work as well as NSAIDs and often doesnt cause the same stomach upset. Prednisolone is a type of corticosteroid and does carry other potential side effects, particularly if it is taken for longer than the recommended 5 days.4
- Colchicine, which has been shown effective in reducing pain and inflammation if taken in the first 24 hours of an attack. Always follow your physicians instructions regarding dosing to decrease your risk for potential complications and side effects.
Opioid painkillers, such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, are not recommended to treat the pain caused by gout.
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How Is Foot Gout Diagnosed
If you are experiencing sudden bouts of intense pain in your joints, or if you feel you are experiencing the symptoms of foot gout, you should see your doctor immediately. Early detection can improve your chances of catching the gout during its early stages and successfully treating the condition.
Your doctor will perform a number of tests on you and ask questions about your family history, medical history, personal habits, and diet. He or she may also perform a joint fluid test. During this test, a needle is used to draw fluid from your affected joint for analysis. Your doctor may also order a blood test to measure your uric acid levels.
Symptoms Of Foot Gout
A gout flare in the foot can be sudden and extremely painful. It feels like your big toe is on fire as it feels hot, swollen, and tender. The first 36 hours are the worst but after that, the pain lessens and lingers, but it doesnt entirely go away until after a week or two.
Once you experience a gout attack, call your doctor right away. They will provide you with medication to help lower uric acid levels and prevent it from worsening.
You may have difficulty walking or wearing shoes when you have foot gout. Its pretty common for gout sufferers to walk slower, have reduced stride length, and less pressure on the midfoot. This is because gout in the foot can be very painful and walking in such a manner can help lessen the pain.
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Symptoms Top Of The Foot Pain & Swelling
Pain on top of the foot is commonly followed by other manifestations which can help you work out what is wrong:
- Gradual Onset Mild-Moderate Pain: Extensor tendonitis , tibialis anterior tendonitis
- Severe, Sudden Pain: Stress fracture
- Stiffness and Instability: Sinus tarsi syndrome , tarsal coalition
- Worse with activity: stress fracture, sinus tarsi syndrome
- Worse after Rest: tendonitis
- Abnormal Toe Curling: Hammer, mallet or claw toe
- Big Toe Redness: Gout
- Itchy, Swelling, Flaking Skin: Athletes foot
- Pins and Needles or Numbness: Nerve issues
Treatment Of Foot Gout
If you suffer from foot gout, there are many different types of gout treatment approaches you can take to help lessen the flare.
Flares from foot gout can be treated using your regular gout medications. This includes NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and colchicine. These are short-term gout medications and should only be taken during a gout flare.
Then, certain medications need to be taken regularly to maintain low uric acid levels. This is called preventative medication and can include drugs such as allopurinol, febuxostat, probenecid, pegloticase, and lesinurad.
Light Exercise or Rest
This may sound counterintuitive but taking a walk during an attack might help you recover faster. For people who have had gout long enough, theyve lived through the pain and have gotten used to it.
However, if this doesnt work for you dont force it. Sit back, relax, and let your foot rest. Put it in an elevated position and place an ice pack on the affected area.
Buy a Comfortable Pair of Shoes
Find comfortable shoes that you can regularly wear preferably those that have cushioned insoles and a wide toe box. This helps support the feet and prevent contact with the toe which can feel sensitive to touch during the first few days after an attack.
In certain situations, you may need to undergo an operation to remove the liquid inside. This is especially needed if the gout has already progressed into tophi.
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Stress Fractures On The Feet Bones
A stress fracture is a small break or severe bruising within a bone. Most stress fractures are by overuse and repetitive activity and are common in runners and athletes who participate in running sports, such as soccer, jumping, and basketball.
Symptoms of stress fractures are sharp pain on top of foot when walking, top of the foot swollen, and tenderness over the fracture area on the top of the foot. Other causes of pain on the top of the foot can comprise:
Leading A Gout Free Life
In order to avoid gout attacks, your gout physician may prescribe a medication to reduce the buildup of uric acid in your blood. In most cases patients take this medicine for their entire life, but there are things that you can do reduce the chances of needing a lifetime of medication. Pay special attention to what you eat. This can help you manage the buildup and uric acid and reduce the frequency and duration of your gout attacks. Eating appropriate amounts of a healthy variety of foods to keep your weight under control and to get the nutrition you need. Try to avoid frequent or daily meals consisting of meat, seafood, and alcohol. As always you should drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
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Causes Of Top Of The Foot Pain And Swelling
Most common of which are for overuse in activities like running, jumping, or kicking can cause pain on the top of the foot. You will require knowing the exact location of pain on the foot and type of pain you have. This will help the doctor determine the cause of the pain and help direct him in the best treatment possible for the patient.
There are many situations you can injure your foot, from dropping something on it to turning it in the wrong way to simple overuse. Sometimes you might injure yourself and not realize it until later when symptoms manifest. Other times, such as when you have a sprain, a fracture, or a broken bone, youll notice right away. If the injury isnt serious, your foot will probably heal on its own.
Sudden onset pain without the incidence of trauma on the top of the foot just behind the toes may be a stress fracture of the metatarsal bone. There is usually top of foot swollen and painful to the touch. Conditions caused by overuse include:
Treatment For Gout In The Foot Pain Relief
We covered off a lot of this in our article on gout pain treatments, except to add that where your feet are concerned, if you feel a gout attack just about to start, you may be better gently applying an anti-inflammatory topical cream if your toes/ heel are not too painful.
This will potentially get to the source much faster than swallowing a tablet.
Other than that, the effect of painkillers is fairly universal, so doesnt warrant special coverage here.
2) Ice Treatment
Where your foot is concerned, ice treatment is a great option for slowing down the blood flow and reducing the swelling/ bruising that will cause much of your pain. This is also easy to apply any standard water-based foot massager can be filled with cold water and you just pop your foot in to soak.
Ideally you should add ice to the water, although never put ice directly on your skin as it could cause burns.
Alternatively, pop a towel in the freezer and leave it for an hour, then get it out and gently wrap it around your affected foot. A bag of frozen vegetables is another option but can squash your foot, leading to a trauma and extra pain.
This is perhaps the 2nd best treatment for gout in the foot as it is easy to do, required little extra equipment and can potentially be carried out at work in an office if you are really suffering.
3) Supportive Equipment
This is especially true if you get gout in both feet a walking stick will typically only take pressure off one side.
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What To Do During An Attack
- take any medication you’ve been prescribed as early as possible after you notice an attack this should start to have an effect within two or three days
- rest and raise the limb
- avoid knocking or damaging the affected joint
- keep the joint cool remove surrounding clothing and apply an ice pack, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel
- ensure you’re well hydrated
Apply the ice pack to your joint for around 20 minutes. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin and don’t apply it for more than 20 minutes at a time because this could damage the skin.
If necessary, you can keep reapplying an ice pack to your skin during an attack, but you should wait until your skin has returned to a normal temperature first.
Risk Factors For Gout
Obesity, excessive weight gain, especially in youth, moderate to heavy alcohol intake, high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal kidney function are among the risk factors for developing gout. Certain drugs and diseases can also cause elevated levels of uric acid. Also, there is an increased prevalence of abnormally low thyroid hormone levels in patients with gout.
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What Increases Your Chances For Gout
The following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:
- Being male
What Part Of The Foot Does Gout Affect
The medical condition that is referred to as gout is a painful ailment that affects the feet. More specifically, the joints in the big toe are typically distressed if this form of arthritis develops. It can cause severe pain and discomfort and may lead to joint deformities if it is not treated early. It occurs as a result of excess uric acid that exists in the blood levels. This may produce crystals that lodge in the joints of the big toe. This condition is typically caused by eating foods that are high in purine levels. These often include red meat, shellfish, and alcohol. There are methods that can be implemented, which may prevent gout attacks from occurring. These can consist of losing weight, performing a daily exercise routine, and eating healthy foods. If you are having pain in the big toe and surrounding areas and would like additional information about how gout affects the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.
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During A Foot Gout Flare
If you are experiencing a gout flare-up and are unable to reach your doctor, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the symptoms:
- At the first sign of symptoms, take ibuprofen or naproxen
- Drink plenty of water
- Rest and elevate your foot immediately
- Place cold compresses on the affected area
How Can I Treat My Foot Gout
Gout is easily treated. The main goal of treatment is to lower the uric acid levels in your body, decrease pain and other symptoms, and prevent further attacks or flare-ups.
If you only experience one episode of foot gout, your doctor may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug other than aspirin, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Aspirin is not used to treat gout because if can interfere with the excretion of uric acid crystals in your urine. Doctors have several ways to treat your gout, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications or injections to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
- Corticosteroid injection into affected joint to reduce inflammation
- Suggesting a change in diet to eliminate or reduce intake of foods and beverages that are high in purines and protein because protein can increase your uric acid level
- Encouraging the patient to drink plenty of fluids each day, especially water
- Explaining the importance of avoiding alcoholic beverages
- Requiring you to stay off your feet
- Cold compresses
It is very important that you talk to a doctor if you are experiencing foot gout symptoms or a flare-up.
Symptoms will generally subside within three to ten days with treatment. If the problem is left untreated, or if gout continues to occur with treatment, the uric acid buildup can eventually cause arthritic damage to your joint.
In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgically removing the uric acid crystals from your joint.
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How Is Gout Treated
Gout can be effectively treated and managed with medical treatment and self-management strategies. Your health care provider may recommend a medical treatment plan to
- Manage the pain of a flare. Treatment for flares consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine.
- Prevent future flares. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as losing weight, limiting alcohol, eating less purine-rich food , may help prevent future attacks. Changing or stopping medications associated with hyperuricemia may also help.
- Prevent tophi and kidney stones from forming as a result of chronic high levels of uric acid. Tophi are hard, uric acid deposits under the skin. For people with frequent acute flares or chronic gout, doctors may recommend preventive therapy to lower uric acid levels in the blood using drugs like allopurinol, febuxostat, and pegloticase.
In addition to medical treatment, you can manage your gout with self-management strategies. Self-management is what you do day to day to manage your condition and stay healthy, like making healthy lifestyle choices. The self-management strategies described below are proven to reduce pain and disability, so you can pursue the activities important to you.