Got Gout? Holiday Season Can Trigger Painful Toes/Feet
Mauldin, SC 11/25/14 With the Holidays fast approaching Dr. Sara Borkosky, a foot specialist at Oak Tree Podiatry, warns patients with known personal or family history of gout to “Watch not only what, but how much you eat and drink this season.”
Changes in diet, including overindulging in certain foods and beverages, can cause gout attacks this time of year, says Sara Borkosky DPM, AACFAS . Dr. Borkosky is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) with an office in Mauldin, SC.
Gout attacks are extremely painful and come on suddenly, usually overnight. Uric acid is a natural product of digestion and typically stays in a liquid form until expelled through the kidneys. In some cases, usually following a diet of rich foods, the uric acid crystallizes and settles into a joint. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint, but can occur in other joints in the feet as well as in the ankles, knees, elbows and hands.
She says foods that are high in purines contribute to uric acid build-up. She recommends that people prone to gout attacks avoid purine-rich items such as shellfish (shrimp, crab, etc.), organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red meat, red wine and beer. It is especially important to limit the quantity of these foods eaten. Dr. Borkosky recommends drinking plenty of clear liquids (water, lemonade, etc.) to help the body eliminate the uric acid in the body and prevent it forming crystals.
How do you know if it is gout?
A sudden onset of pain, swelling and redness centered around a joint is most common. The joint is typically warm to the touch and even the bed sheets lying across it causes significant pain. Contact your foot care specialist immediately if these symptoms occur as they can also mimic a more serious condition: an infected joint.
Gout can be treated with medications, diet changes, increasing consumption of appropriate fluids, and immobilizing the foot. In some cases surgery is required to remove the uric acid crystals and repair the joint. For more information on gout or contact Dr. Borkosky’s office at 864-297-6616 or www.oaktreepodiatry.com.