Who Is Affected By Gout
Gout can affect anyone. It usually occurs earlier in men than women. It generally occurs after menopause in women. Men can be three times more likely than women to get it because they have higher levels of uric acid most of their lives. Women reach these uric acid levels after menopause.
People are more likely to get gout if they have:
- Obesity, or a lot of extra weight.
You are also more likely to develop gout if you:
- Consume a diet high in animal proteins
- Consume a significant amount of alcohol
- Are on water pills .
How To Prevent Gout
You can manage gout symptoms and help to prevent them occurring by taking gout medication and making dietary and lifestyle choices. Medication can help to stop your level of uric acid getting too high, whilst avoiding certain foods which cause your body to create more uric acid can also be effective in preventing gout. Lifestyle choices, such as exercise, can also help to prevent gout.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Gout
Untreated gout can lead to permanent joint damage. The buildup of uric acid in the joints and soft tissue is called tophus. Some people with gout can also develop other health problems, such as severe arthritis, kidney stones and heart disease. Its important to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider.
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How Is Gout In The Ankle Diagnosed
If you think you might have gout but havent been diagnosed, try to see a doctor while youre having symptoms. Gout is easier to diagnose when youre in the middle of a flare-up thats causing swelling, redness, and other visible symptoms.
During your appointment, your doctor will likely ask you several questions about your diet, any medications you take, and whether you have a family history of gout. This can help to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms, including an infection or rheumatoid arthritis.
Your doctor may also order a blood test to check your uric acid levels. But some people have high levels of uric acid and dont develop gout. Others have typical uric acid levels but still develop gout. As a result, theyll want to do some other tests as well.
An X-ray, MRI, or CT scan of your ankle can also help to eliminate other possible causes of joint inflammation. Depending on your exam, they may also order an ultrasound to check for the presence of crystals in your ankle.
Finally, they might do a joint fluid test. This involves taking a small sample of joint fluid from your ankle with a small needle and looking at it under a microscope for any uric acid crystals.
Based on the results of your exam and tests, they may refer you to an inflammatory arthritis specialist called a rheumatologist for treatment.
Theres no cure for gout, but a combination of medications and home treatments can help to manage ankle pain and reduce the number of flare-ups you have.
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Pain And Swelling Are Gouts Calling Cards
The most frequent signs of a gout attack are swelling, tenderness, redness, and a sharp pain in your big toe. These attacks are most common at night when you are sitting still and laying flat on your back. While gout usually manifests in the big toe, you may also experience gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees. The attacks can be short or long, anywhere from a few days to weeks and you may not have another attack may for months or years.
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What Are The Treatments For Gout
Most physicians recommend managing gout with lifestyle and diet changes. There are also medical interventions available for controlling and preventing gout pain. Treatment and prevention approaches include:
- Topical creams, like Voltaren, often provide immediate pain relief during a gout attack.
- Prescription medications, including the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine for pain. Providers may also recommend different drugs that regulate uric acid production for patients with recurring cases of gout.
- Injections including cortisone to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Dietary restrictions to reduce high-purine foods. Replace those foods with a diet high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Your doctor may recommend switching from red meats to poultry and low-fat dairy foods for protein.
- Hydration: drink plenty of fluids to help eliminate uric acid. Water, milk, and tart cherry juice are the best choices.
- Immobilize and elevate the foot to reduce swelling and inflammation.
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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 isnt 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 dont is not completely understood, but one or more of these factors are thought to contribute:
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Diagnosing And Treating Gout
At your evaluation, we examine your feet thoroughly and use imaging tests to determine the exact nature of your foot pain. If we determine you have gout, we start by treating it with medication, which for acute attacks can include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain and inflammation
- Colchicine to reduce gout pain
- Corticosteroids, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties
In addition, we may prescribe medications to block uric acid production, and/or medications to increase uric acid removal.
If youre experiencing joint pain, especially if it starts in your big toe, its time to come into Chicagoland Foot and Ankle for an evaluation to determine if gout is the cause. Contact us today. We have locations in Chicago, Orland Park, and New Lenox, Illinois.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Gout In The Ankle
The main symptom of gout in the ankle is pain and discomfort in the surrounding area. Keep in mind that gout is often unpredictable, regardless of the joint its affecting. You might go weeks or even months without any symptoms, only to wake up with a burning pain in your ankle.
In some cases, gout starts out in one of your big toes before moving on to other areas, such as your ankle. Over time, these flare-ups may last longer than they previously did.
Other symptoms you might feel from gout in your ankle include:
How To Treat Gout In The Ankle At Home: Best Gout In Ankle Remedies
The following are the best remedies for treating gout at home.
- You can drink a glass of lemon juice to which half a teaspoon of baking soda is added. Both tend to alkalize our body and balance out the excess uric acid. However baking soda should not be taken by hypertensive people.
- Soak your ankle in a tub containing paste of activated charcoal for half an hour to get relief. Oral activated charcoal tablets also adsorb the excess uric acid in our blood.
- Eat 1 or 2 bananas to ease ankle gout as the potassium present in them dissolves the uric acid crystals.
- You can apply a paste of ginger root on your gout affected ankle to ease inflammation.
- Eating 15 to 20 fresh cherries early in the morning is good for gout patients as it contains anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.
- You can even soak your affected ankle in warm water to which Epsom salt has been added to relieve severe gout.
- The swelling and burning sensation in your ankle can be reduced by placing a bottle containing cold water on it.
- For a quick Cure for gout in the ankles , try improvised home remedies for gout.
Weight management, consumption of a low-calorie diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in meat as well as avoiding alcohol or fructose-sweetened drinks is necessary to prevent and control gout in the ankle.
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Signs Your Pain Is Likely Gout And Not Something Else
If you develop sharp sudden pain in a single joint or a couple of joints, if the pain is so debilitating that it is hard to walk or wear shoes, and if you have risk factors for gout , theres good reason to suspect gout as the culprit. However, its important to see a doctor for a thorough exam and proper diagnosis.
Dr. FitzGerald cautions that issues unrelated to gout can cause an angry, inflamed joint. Gout may be confused with several other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, including:
- An infected joint
- Bacterial skin infection
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Pseudogout is caused by a different kind of crystal, calcium pyrophosphate. A flare of pseudogout can resemble gout, but it more often affects your wrist and knee, and is unlikely to involve the big toe. Like gout, pseudogout is also considered a form of inflammatory arthritis. Its more likely to affect people over the age of 40 and those who have a thyroid condition, kidney failure, or disorder that affects calcium, phosphate, or iron metabolism, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Its also possible to have gout without the classic presentation of red, hot, sharp, burning, sudden pain in the big toe, foot, ankle, or knee. Some patients may have joint pain that is less acute.
People can also have high levels of uric acid but not develop symptoms of 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:
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Symptoms Of Gout In The Ankle
Gout symptoms are on a whole other level compared to a sprained ankle, cellulitis , tendonitis, or other ankle issues.
“The gout symptoms such as acute swelling/pain and erythema are typically much more severe,” says Dr. Seligman. “This is much different than chronic weakness or swelling.”
Seeking medical attention sooner than later is always recommended to get the pain under control.
Before we dive into the symptoms of ankle gout, know this: you shouldn’t use these symptoms to self-diagnosis ankle pain.
Always see a doctor when you have one of the symptoms or a combination of the following symptoms.
Joints Affected By Gout
Gout can affect any joint, but some joints are more likely to be affected than others. Joints commonly affected include the big toe, the foots instep, heel, ankle, and knee.2 Less often, gout affects the elbow, wrist, fingertips, or spine.27
Gout is acute, painful swelling in the joints from uric acid buildup. Common areas include the foot and big toe.
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Why Does My Ankle Hurt
Figuring out why your ankle is throbbing can be a guessing game.
Was it from rolling your ankle in the backyard yesterday? Or could it be tendonitis from the extra miles you can this week?
Maybe it’s from gout, a type of arthritis sometimes known as “the disease of kings” because only the monarchs of yesteryear could afford the food and drinks that are known to exacerbate its symptoms.
Gout cases have been on the rise in recent years due to the increasing obesity rate, although anyone can get gout. Just as the royalty’s diet was to blame for many gout symptoms recorded in history, our modern diets are one reason the disease is on the rise.
And while historically gout was associated with the big toe, the condition is becoming more common in other placesjoints like the hands, foot, or ankle.
Diagnosing ankle symptoms isn’t always easy. Even some doctors mistake ankle pain for something other than gout.
“Patients are often misdiagnosed with sprains, cellulitis, and other disorders when gout is unrecognized due to both severe pain and appearance,” explains Victoria Seligman, MD, a rheumatologist with UCHealth Rheumatology Clinic Cherry Creek in Denver.
Here’s how to know when your ankle symptoms are due to gout and how to treat them.
How Can An Attack Of Gout Be Treated
The management of an acute attack of gout is very different from the prevention of subsequent attacks.
Treatments used for prevention, such as allopurinol can actually make things worse if given during an attack, and so need to be held back until the attack has resolved for several weeks.
There are a number of measures that can help resolve an attack of gout. See Table 2 for summary of treatment strategies for acute gout. One principle is that treatment for an attack of gout should be instituted quickly, since quick treatment can often be rewarded with a quick improvement.
If an attack of gout is allowed to last more than a day or so before treatment is started, the response to treatment may be much slower.
Table 2: Medications to treat acute attacks of gout
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Gout In Ankle: Symptoms And Home Remedies
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Arthritis is basically a joint disorder that causes inflammation in one or more joints of the body. As such there are more than 100 types of arthritis.
But the most common ones can be classified as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, gout, etc.
What Is Gout?
In medical terms, gout is a complex form of inflammatory arthritis condition which is caused due to the build-up of uric acid.
Although it can affect varied body parts, it is most common in the joints of the foot and big toe.
The first and foremost diagnostic tool helpful for ruling out gout in the foot or ankle is by proper physical examination.
With mere examination, most experienced physicians can confirm the existence of gout in the ankle joint.
In case of a doubtful diagnosis, you can go for a complete blood test added with levels of blood uric acid check-up. Most of the time blood test will give you a clear diagnosis of the condition.
In case if the blood reports also fail to rule out gout in the foot then your doctor can use other diagnostic tools like imaging techniques.
The major imaging techniques which help in confirming the ankle gout are X-rays, CT-Scan, MRIs, etc.
Even sometimes the tests like bone density test and bone biopsy also help in confirming gout in the ankle and foot.