It’s beginning to look a lot like gout season here in the Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area and we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want to help our patients learn more about this condition and how to avoid it.
Gout is a form of arthritis—in fact, it is sometimes referred to as gouty arthritis. This condition occurs as the result of a buildup of uric acid in the body, which then crystallizes in the joints causing extreme pain, throbbing, burning and tenderness in a joint, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, a chemical that is found naturally in the body and in certain foods. Risk factors for developing gout include:
- An inherited tendency for gout
- High blood pressure
- Recent surgery
- Certain medication and vitamins
Although gout can strike men and women at any age, it is most commonly seen in men ages 40 to 60.
You may be wondering why gout is more prevalent during the holiday season. Two factors are at play here. First, the most frequent site of gout—your big toe—is under extra strain during the holiday season with all the errands to run, shopping to do and long hours spent standing in line or socializing. Second, gout attacks can be triggered by particular foods, many of which are part of traditional holiday fare. If you have suffered from gout in the past, you may want to avoid overindulging on red meat, shellfish, red wine, organ meats, beer, and rich sauces. Drinking plenty of water will also help your body naturally flush out excess uric acid.
The bad news about gout is that if you’ve had it once, you’re likely to suffer future attacks. If you have a gout attack, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will examine your feet and may prescribe medication to deal with symptoms of gout. Other parts of your treatment plan will address prevention with medication and lifestyle choices.