Gout is a condition where there is a buildup of uric acid crystals in your body. These crystals subside within the joints and can cause pain and swelling to the one or multiple areas of the body. Overtime, a long term presence of gouty crystals can cause a break down of joints resulting in arthritis.
Gout can be found in any part of the body. As foot and ankle physicians, it is most likely seen in the big toe joint, the midfoot and sometimes in the back of the heelby the Achilles tendon.
Gout presents as a swollen, red, and painful joint.It does not get better with rest or elevation. It can be so sensitive that even a slight touch can cause extreme shooting pains through your body.
Other causes of swollen joints can be from trauma, infection, or arthritic joints.
Besides a red, hot,swollen joint,you can also have elevated uric acid levels. From personal experience, uric acid is not a reliable indicator to say if you have gout. However, it is always great to have a baseline, so we can monitor it.
The other causes for gout are diet, family history of gout, or certain medications can trigger a gout flare up. If you notice that you overindulged with alcohol, shell fish or red meat, you can trigger a gout flare up.
For acute flare ups, gout is best treated with oral anti-inflammatories. If there is residual pain after the initial treatment, cortisone injections can help with the inflammation and pain.
If you have flare upshappening multiple times a year, then it is time to consider medication. If you have tried changing your diet and nothing has helped, starting a gout medication can help resolve the excessive uric acid levels.
From my experience, the answer is no. Sometimes, gout attacks can be a one time thing. If a gout attack occurs again within the same year, then I would consider changing your diet. If you start having multiple gout attacks, within the same year, I would recommend gout medication.
If you have failed allopurinol and other gout medications you may qualify for an IV treatment called Krystexxa.
We treat patients with gout from Summerlin, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, and the Greater Las Vegas Valley.
Call us at 702-997-9833 today.