What is Gout?

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. It results from the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint, leading to inflammation and intense pain.

Uric acid is a waste product that the body produces when it breaks down purines, substances found in the body and certain foods. Under normal circumstances, uric acid dissolves in the blood, passes through the kidneys, and exits the body in urine. However, sometimes the body produces too much uric acid or excretes too little. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Dr. Michaels Says:

“Gout is an increase in uric acid in the blood which then crystalizes when it cools as the blood goes to the big toe.  The uric acid comes out of solution when the blood cools as it circulates through the great toe causing crystals to form in the tissues which causes pain.  There are two generic medications that work very well for this.  We prescribe these along with recommending changing your diet to avoid foods that cause gout.  If nothing else works there is a medication that can be infused which simply gives you a natural enzyme found in almost every other animal species that breaks down uric acid.  Unfortunately, humans are one of the 2 animals that don’thave this enzyme. Typically, however, you simply need to take both pills twice a day for a few days to get rid of the gout pain.”

Gout Treatment Options

If you’re having a gout attack, Dr. Michaels’ primary goal is to stop your immediate pain, which he does through medications that provide relief before the day is out. Once your gout flare-up is under control, Dr. Michaels works with you to reduce your risks of another attack by addressing some of the risk factors that may exacerbate your gout. These include:

  • Weight loss
  • Nutrition changes
  • Managing pre-existing medical conditions
  • Limiting alcohol

For both immediate relief and long-term solutions, call Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute or fill out the online form to request an appointment at one of the two locations.