If you’re suffering from sudden and intense pain in your big toe, you might have gout. Natalie MacLean, MD, and the team at Kaplan MacLean Rheumatology in Encinitas, California, provide innovative and comprehensive approaches to managing muscle, bone, and joint conditions such as gout. To find relief from this painful condition, call Kaplan MacLean Rheumatology or schedule an appointment online today.
Gout is a painful rheumatic disease affecting the joint in your big toe. This common form of arthritis occurs suddenly and often feels as though your big toe is burning.
When you have gout, your big toe joint looks swollen, hot, and red. It’s often highly sensitive and you’ll find it can’t tolerate the slightest contact. Additional symptoms of gout often include:
In some cases, gout is a chronic condition where you experience flare-ups that come and go.
Gout develops because of excess uric acid in your bloodstream. Uric acid naturally develops in your body as your system breaks down substances found in foods known as purines.
Common sources of purines include:
Urate crystals form when uric acid accumulates in your body. This leads to swelling, pain, and inflammation. As these crystals accumulate in your big toe joint, they cause the pain and inflammation associated with gout.
Anyone can develop gout, but several factors increase your risk of developing this condition, including:
Your chances of having gout are also higher if you’re a man between 30-50 years of age. The risks also increase for women after menopause.
Dr. MacLean develops a treatment strategy to manage your condition that involves lifestyle modifications, which may include:
To manage your pain and inflammation, Dr. MacLean might also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or joint injections.
For more information on managing gout, call Kaplan MacLean Rheumatology or schedule an appointment online today.