The painful joint condition known as gout is caused by excessive amounts of uric acid building up in the blood. When the acid reaches a saturation point it crystallizes out of the blood and into the joints of the extremities with the joints of the hands, feet, and ankles frequently being most affected.

Gout can have similar symptoms to other problems like the stiffness caused by hallux rigidus (stiff big toe). Be sure to have your podiatrist perform an exam to determine the exact cause of your pain and discomfort to receive the proper treatment.

Tips for preventing a gout attack or to help recover from an ongoing attack include the following:

●     Avoid consuming foods high in purines—Unfortunately, many delicious foods like shrimp, lobster, and cold cuts are high in purines and should be avoided to prevent gout attacks.

●     Decrease or avoid alcohol consumption—Alcohol such as in wine, beer, and whiskey can be a major contributor to the development of gout attacks and should be avoided.

●     Take medications—Prescription medications such as allopurinol will decrease purines in the blood and help prevent the crystals that cause gout pain.

●     Keep properly hydrated—Drinking plenty of healthy fluids throughout the day is essential to keeping your uric acid levels low.

If you often experience gout attacks and are unable to control them through diet and exercise, you may have to take daily medication to keep the condition from reoccurring.

For gout or any other problems you are having with your feet and ankles, contact your foot doctor for an evaluation. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas), is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries, and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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