Gout

The most common site for gout is the base of the big toe. Gout attacks usually occur suddenly and can even wake you up from sleep. The affected joint is usually very painful, red, hot, swollen and tender to touch. Gout occurs due to crystal deposition in joints.

Usually preceding a gout attack there is a history of precipitating factors such joint trauma/injury, dietary changes and alcohol consumption. Factors that increases uric acid levels in the body can increase the risk of gout.

Signs & Symptoms include:

  • Commonly affects the joint of the big toe, but can affect other joints of the foot and ankle, knees as well as the hands and wrists.
  • Severe pain at the affected joint
  • Inflammation: red, hot, swollen and tender to touch.
  • Decrease range of motion of the affected joint.
  • Gout attacks can occur more than once

Management

The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation, increase function and decrease the risk of gout recurrence.

  • Medications for gout aimed at reducing pain and decreasing uric acid levels in the body.
  • Ensuring healthy diet by limiting intake of foods that contain purines. Ensuring good hydration by drinking lots of water and reducing alcohol consumption.
  • Exercising and maintaining good body weight.
  • Appropriate footwear
  • Palliation and protective devices