Gout Specialist

West Suburban Podiatry

Podiatric Physicians and Surgeons located in Western Springs, IL

Serious pain, warmth, and stiffness in your big toe often point to gout. At West Suburban Podiatry in Western Springs, Illinois, you’ll find highly trained foot and ankle experts who can skillfully diagnose and treat gout and other foot and ankle issues. Walk away from gout pain now by calling the office or clicking on the online appointment scheduler.

Gout Q & A

What is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis in which excessive uric acid builds up in your joints. Uric acid triggers sudden attacks with severe pain, swelling, burning, and sensitivity. 

More than half of gout flare-ups affect the main big toe joint, but gout can also occur in other parts of your foot and ankle. 

What causes gout?

Gout can develop when you have excessive uric acid in your body. You produce uric acid to help you break down purines, chemical compounds that occur in your body naturally, as well as in certain foods. Some examples of high-purine foods include steak and seafood.

If you produce too much uric acid or can't excrete uric acid efficiently, it accumulates within your joints. Eventually, the acid crystallizes to make tiny needle-like shards, which triggers gout symptoms.  

What are the symptoms of a gout attack?

Gout attacks typically happen in the middle of the night and often quite suddenly. You may experience:

  • Severe pain for 4-12 hours
  • Lingering soreness for up to a few weeks
  • Limited joint movement
  • Joint swelling
  • Burning or uncomfortable warmth in and around the joint
  • Red skin 
  • Sensitivity to touch

If you suspect a gout attack, it's important to call West Suburban Podiatry as soon as possible. Your experienced podiatrist can diagnose and treat your symptoms for immediate relief. 

What are the risk factors for gout?

Certain risk factors can lead to excessive uric acid in your joints, including: 

  • Diet with high sugar, red meat, and seafood 
  • High alcohol intake 
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Medications such as thiazide diuretics
  • Family history of gout

Age is also a risk factor for gout. For men, gout usually develops at age 30-50, but it often starts after menopause for women. Your podiatrist can help you manage controllable risk factors effectively.

How is gout treated?

Although there’s no cure for gout at this time, you can work with your podiatrist to treat and prevent attacks. West Suburban Podiatry uses a personalized approach for gout treatment. 

Often, oral medicines can lower your uric acid level. Your podiatrist may also prescribe oral or injected anti-inflammatory medications to ease your joint pain. 

You can take significant strides to reduce gout attacks through lifestyle changes, too. Your podiatrist may recommend dietary changes, losing weight, and cutting down on alcohol intake to reduce your purines and uric acid. 

Is gout pain keeping you up? Call the West Suburban Podiatry office or book an appointment online today.