If you’ve ever had a painful gout flare, you can still experience it again, even if years have passed since your last bout with gout. It rather suddenly can return from simply eating the wrong foods.
Gout is the result of uric acid crystallizing in your joints. It typically occurs in the big toe joint, but other joints can be affected. Risk factors for excess uric acid building up in your blood include:
●High fat and high purine foods such as organ meats and shrimp
●Some medications may contribute to acid build-up
Sometimes people with gout notice an itchy, burning or tingling in the area several hours prior to the outbreak. Others have no signs at all until they are woken up in the middle of the night with an extremely painful big toe joint. The pain can be so unbearable that the weight of your sheet can cause the pain to become worse.
What to Do During a Gout Flare
There are things you can do reduce the length of a gout flare, and to manage the pain. These include:
●Remove footwear. Your shoes and socks will just add to the pain, so best to take them off for a while.
●Rest. Limit your activity, and try not to walk around during a flare-up. Lie down and elevate the joint on a pillow.
●Ice. Cold compresses applied for 20 minutes, several times a day, will help reduce inflammation and pain.
●Don’t consume alcohol. Drinking alcohol (especially beer) during an attack will just make it worse and last longer.
●Avoid foods that contain purine. These include fatty foods, seafood like shrimp, and organ meats.
●Ibuprofen or other OTC medicine may be taken to reduce pain and inflammation.
●Wait. A gout flare typically will subside within a few days.
If you are experiencing painful symptoms of gout that won’t go away, or that occur frequently, it is important to see your doctor for advice on how to get them under control.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.