What Is Gout?


Over 3 million Americans are affected by gout each year, making it a very common condition that not many know much about. So, what is it? Gout is a painful form of arthritis, with the big toe joint usually being most affected. It can create tenderness, inflammation, and redness, making it difficult to walk and participate in our everyday activities. Gout has a lot to do with what we eat and with March being National Nutrition Month, we thought it was the perfect time to go over some quick facts.

All About Gout

As stated above, gout is a form of arthritis that normally affects the big toe joint, but it can affect other joints, too. It begins when your body has abnormally high levels of uric acid.

Our bodies naturally produce uric acid, but we get it from different foods, as well. When our bodies have excess levels of uric acid, it creates sharp crystals in our joints, tissues, and bloodstream. This can be disastrous for our joints, which is where gout comes in. With gout, you’ll likely experience severe pain, swelling, and redness in your joints.

What About Uric Acid?

When we eat foods rich in purines, our bodies are more likely to develop gout. Which foods have high levels of purines? Things like…

  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • Brandy
  • Food and drinks high in fructose sugar, like soda

To prevent gout, limit your intake of purine-rich foods, exercise daily, and maintain a healthy weight.

Treating This Condition

If you have gout, you’ll likely have to take some sort of medication to combat your symptoms. Some will reduce any inflammation you have, while others prevent pain from gout attacks by lowering the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.