Oftentimes, when one thinks of gout, they think of their grandma seated with her leg up in the air and a big red toe with a heating pad on it. This is a common misconception. Gout can actually occur as early as your late 20’s or early 30’s. It is more common though from age 40-50. Statistically speaking, it is more common in men. We also know that genetics, as with most things, plays a role in gout.
I have an older brother who struggles with gout. He has mentioned on many occasions the significant amount of pain he suffers during an acute attack. All of my patients agree! It will usually manifest itself as a red, hot, swollen, painful joint. Most commonly it is the big toe joint which is why podiatrists are so well acquainted with the disease. It can also manifest in the ankle, hands, wrists, and less commonly in other areas of the body. These locations make perfect sense if you understand the physiology of gout.
Gout is an excess of uric acid circulating in the blood. Why? Some people simply over-produce uric acid while other people’s bodies can’t get rid of it fast enough. The uric acid circulates through the entire body in the blood. But when it gets to joints that are furthest from the heart and therefore, coolest, the uric acid crystallizes causing a red, hot, swollen, and very painful joint. What’s further from the heart than the toes? Hence the foot is the most common place for an attack.
This month, we’ll be discussing gout prevention and treatment so stay tuned.
Don’t Live Life In Pain! Call us at 505.880.1000 today to make an appointment.
Jonathan Williamson, DPM