Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute
Podiatrists located in Austin, TX
If you suffer from the pain of gout, you’ll want to be prepared for the next time it strikes. With expertise in treating a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions, Babak Kaviani, DPM, and Liza Chabokrow, DPM, of Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute can help with your gout treatment and preventive management. If you live in or around Austin, Texas, book an appointment through the online scheduling system or call the office.
Gout Q & A
What is gout?
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that causes severe and sudden joint inflammation, most often starting in the big toe. When there’s too much uric acid in your bloodstream, crystals from the uric acid are deposited in your joints, leading to a gout attack.
While other forms of arthritis are more common, gout occurs in approximately 4% of adult Americans, the majority of which are men. Symptoms of gout come and go and usually affect one joint at a time. Symptoms of gout include:
- Extreme pain in the joint
- Sudden joint inflammation
- Warmth and redness of the joint
- Limited range of motion
- Lingering joint discomfort
What happens if gout is not treated?
While gout commonly begins in the lower half of the body, especially in the big toe, it can also affect the ankle or any other joint in the body. This is why seeing a qualified podiatrist, like Dr. Kaviani or Dr. Chabokrow, is so important. Left untreated, gout can:
- Spread to multiple joints
- Cause irreversible joint damage
- Lead to kidney problems
In some people with chronic gout, excess uric acid in the bloodstream over time can lead to the formation of tophi, which are hardened nodules under your skin caused by deposits of crystalline uric acid. Tophi typically form in cartilage and skin at the surface of joints.
Am I at risk for developing gout?
Gout can affect anyone, but with proper treatment and medication, there are ways to prevent flares and manage your symptoms. Since gout is a byproduct of an increase in uric acid, if you have high levels of uric acid in your body, you’re at a greater risk for developing this form of arthritis. Risk factors for developing gout include:
- Being age 30-50
- Taking certain medications
- A diet high in sugar
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Recent trauma or surgery
While it’s more common for men to develop gout, women are especially susceptible after menopause.
How is gout treated?
Typically gout is managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments. During an attack, Dr. Kaviani or Dr. Chabokrow might recommend a corticosteroid injection or an over-the-counter pain reliever.
A special diet is also important for preventing uric acid buildup in your body. Limit your intake of alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, and red meat, and make sure to drink lots of water. Your podiatrist can give you more specific diet recommendations.
A chronic condition requires a consistent medical maintenance regimen, and your doctor decides on the gout treatment that's best for you. Book an appointment at Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute for a thorough exam.