Causes and Diagnostic Avenues for Gout
Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

Causes and Diagnostic Avenues for Gout

Gout, a form of arthritis, develops when uric acid accumulates in the joints, leading to inflammation and intense pain. The primary cause is an overproduction or underexcretion of uric acid, resulting in crystalline deposits that settle in the joints. Dietary factors, such as excessive consumption of purine-rich foods, can contribute to elevated uric acid levels. Diagnosis involves a comprehensive examination of symptoms that include sudden, severe joint pain, swelling, and redness. Podiatrists may conduct blood tests to measure uric acid levels and analyze joint fluid for crystal presence. Imaging studies, such as X-rays or ultrasounds, aid in assessing joint damage. A meticulous evaluation helps differentiate gout from other forms of arthritis, enabling podiatrists to devise an effective treatment plan. If you have joint pain in your feet and believe it might be caused by gout, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can successfully treat this condition and offer preventive tips.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lakeport and Ukiah, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout