You wake up one morning and you cannot even put on your shoes because your big toe has grown too big overnight and is causing you intense pain. Walking has become torturous. Are you having a gout attack? Most probably yes!! The symptoms of gout are redness in the joint, accompanied by inflammation, stiffness and intense pain. The pain is so intense that you can no longer function. Your big toe is red and bulbous and you feel the pain radiating from your big toe even up to your head! Gout usually attacks the big toes although other body joints such as the ankles, wrists, fingers or elbows are equally susceptible to a gout attack. However, your suspected gout foot pain may be caused by other conditions such as cellulitis, bursitis, osteoarthritis, pseudo gout or many other reasons. You and your doctor may have to go through a series of tests to ascertain whether in fact what you are experiencing is gout foot pain or something else. Sometimes, a broken foot has been thought to be caused by gout foot pain because of the same intensity of pain. One such test is by finding out whether in fact there are urate crystals in the affected joint by aspiration. A blood sample is drawn from the joint and tested for the presence of the urate crystals.
Gout is cause by the formation of needle like uric acid crystals in the joints. The uric acid is usually deposited in the joints in the form of tiny urate crystals. When this happens, the joint inflammation may recur leading to what is referred to as gouty “arthritis.” When this inflammation happens, the body’s immune system may react making the white blood cells engulf the uric acid crystals. The affected joint may thus develop hard lumps that may eventually destroy the joint. The body’s natural chemical messengers of inflammation are also released and become manifested as pain, heat and redness in the affected joint.
When the gout foot pain condition has reached a point when there is already redness, swelling and intense pain in your big toe, you can try some over the counter medications such as ibuprofen to minimize the pain or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like motrin, to bring down the inflammation.
Gout can be treated by watching what you eat, drinking a lot of fluids/water, exercising and keeping your weight down. Lowering your intake of food rich in purines will help minimize future attacks. However, chronic gout foot pain and chronic gout treatment regimens may have to be carried out medically using gout medications. These prescription medications need to be taken under the supervision of a medical health practitioner.
An attack of gout may last anywhere from three to four days, depending on the severity. The gout foot pain treatment medications do not offer instant relief from the sometimes excruciating and debilitating pain that often accompany the gout foot pain attack. The best person to see about gout foot pain is a qualified medical practitioner.