Growing up I loved the Indiana Jones movies. They had suspense, adventure and interesting historical tidbits. One scene became relevant to my profession as I was asked to give a presentation to my co-residents. If you remember in “The Temple of Doom” there is a scene where a formal dinner was served with snake surprise, beetles and chilled monkey brains. What do those 3 things have in common, other than being questionable food choices? They would all cause gout flares in someone with gout.
Gout is an arthritic disease because it attacks joints, usually the big toe joint, but it can affect any joint. Uric acid crystals begin to form in the joint which is caused by your body having too much uric acid. You can either be an over producer of uric acid or under excreter, either way there is too much uric acid in your body. You can recognize gout by a red, hot, swollen and painful joint, in more severe cases the crystals called tophi begin oozing out of the skin. If left untreated gout will do damage to the joint and prevent motion and can cause constant pain.
The treatments will depend on whether you’re an overproducer or under excreter. There are drugs to take that will help maintain a normal level of uric acid to prevent gout flare ups. When you get a flare, Colchicine is often used to calm it down. It is a good idea to come in to the office so tests can be done to prevent flares and evaluate the amount of damage already done to determine the best way to prevent further damage to the joint.
Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!
Mark Tenny, DPM
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