Gout is a common condition that affects about 3 million people in the United States every year. If you experience pain, redness, and swelling around your big toe, it may be because of gout. To get relief from the pain and discomfort, see the medical team at Brandon Riverview Medical Associates in Brandon and Riverview, Florida. The team offers testing and treatment for gout so you can get back on your feet pain-free. To set up an appointment, use the online booking tool or call today.
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in your joints, especially the joints of your big toe. If left untreated, gout can cause significant swelling to the point of deformity and may be disabling due to pain.
Gout has been recorded in medical history for centuries and was once called the “disease of kings” because it often affected wealthy men who could afford to indulge in rich foods and alcohol. This is not always the case, as gout can affect both men and women, and diet doesn’t always play a role in the development of the condition.
Gout develops when uric acid crystals, a normal waste product from the digestive process, settle into joints in your body. This may happen because the production of uric acid increases or your kidneys isn’t able to remove uric acid from your body through urination.
Some foods and medications can increase the formation of uric acid crystals, including:
Uric acid can also accumulate in the kidneys and lead to the formation of kidney stones.
There are many ways to diagnose gout, though the most common test is to insert a needle into the affected joint to remove a sample of fluid. This sample is examined under a microscope to look for the presence of uric acid crystals.
Other diagnostic options involve blood tests for uric acid and X-rays. Your provider may be able to diagnose gout based on your symptoms and the appearance of your affected joint when examined visually.
Gout treatment takes two forms: reduction of painful symptoms and prevention of the formation of uric acid crystals. For painful gout attacks, your provider may recommend a medication called colchicine to break down uric acid crystals or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and inflammation.
Other medications can be prescribed to prevent the formation of uric acid crystals or help your body process the crystals more effectively in your kidneys, such as:
The team works with you to determine which medications best meet your needs in order to reduce the risk of gout attacks long-term.
Relieve the pain of a gout attack by visiting Brandon Riverview Medical Associates — just call or click the online booking tool to schedule now.