If you’ve noticed intense heat or swelling in your toes or other joint, it could be a sign you have gout. Julio Ramos, MD, FACR, FACP, and Tracy Sokoloski, CRNP, at Ramos Rheumatology, PC in Avoca, Pennsylvania, specialize in treating conditions that affect your joints such as gout. For more information, call Ramos Rheumatology and speak to a member of the friendly team or schedule an appointment today.
Gout is a form of arthritis that usually strikes unexpectedly and suddenly, resulting in severe pain as well as swelling and redness. It’s caused by high uric acid levels in your body that accumulate in your joints as crystals.
When you have gout, an attack occurs several times a year or more often and may lead to other complications such as kidney stones.
Your body makes uric acid to break down compounds in your body. Sometimes your body produces too much uric acid, which causes gout attacks. Uric acid usually leaves your body through the kidneys, but sometimes the acid builds up and creates small, needle-like crystals that collect in your joints.
The small crystals cause swelling, redness, or pain. Gout attacks often occur in foot and toe joints. Many factors lead to more pronounced gout symptoms, including:
Men between the ages of 30-50 are generally affected by gout the most. Have a list of symptoms available to discuss with your provider during your consultation at Ramos Rheumatology.
Most gout attacks occur at night. While gout may occur in any joint, your ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists are the most likely areas to be affected, including your finger and toe joints.
You may notice swelling, redness, or localized, intense pain in your joint. The pain may be severe and last for several hours. The pain is likely to last longer and affect more joints if gout is left untreated. Your range of motion may be limited as well if you experience recurrent gout.
Dr. Ramos and Ms. Sokoloski take a holistic approach to your treatment and focus on preventing gout attacks if possible. Some ways you can keep your uric acid at lower levels include:
If making preventive changes doesn’t help control gout flare-ups, Dr. Ramos and Ms. Sokoloski may recommend other treatment options. Prescription and nonprescription medications can help control gout attacks or reduce pain and swelling. They also provide the latest treatment options, including the use of infusion agents that are delivered intravenously to lower your uric acid levels in the affected area.
For more information, and if you suspect you may have gout, speak with the friendly staff at Ramos Rheumatology or schedule an appointment today.