Causes of Gout
The holidays provide a lot of opportunities for feasting, but that could mean trouble for people with gout. At Mercer-Ocean Podiatry, we treat patients suffering from many kinds of arthritis. But gout is a disease that patients can prevent through lifestyle changes, which is why we want our patients to understand what causes it.
Arthritis is a term used to describe several diseases that result in inflamed joints. Attacks of gout are clearly identifiable by the red swelling they cause at the base of the big toe (and, more rarely, on the ankles and in fingers). Gout is caused by uric acid crystals building up in the feet. When people eat certain foods, such as red meat, seafood, sugar, and alcohol, they ingest substances called purines that form uric acid inside the body. The kidneys normally filter uric acid, but if their function is compromised and a large number of crystals have built up, a sudden increase in purines can trigger a gout attack.
Gout attacks could last for hours or days. At our office, we use joint fluid tests to be sure we’ve identified it correctly and use anti-inflammatory injections and medications to control outbreaks. But patients can help themselves by drinking more water and by limiting their intake of alcohol, sugar, organ meat, and shellfish, all of which are high in purines. Dieticians can help people to avoid things that worsen kidney disease.
Dr. Frank Killian and Dr. Sameep Chandrani run Mercer-Ocean Podiatry. For the location at 2103 Whitehorse Mercerville Road, Hamilton Township, New Jersey, 08619, call 609-585-3200. For the location at 202 Rte 37 W, Suite 4, Toms River, New Jersey, 08755, call 732-557-4266. Visit New Jersey Foot.