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What Causes Gout?

Of the many kinds of arthritis that affect the feet, the most identifiable is gout. Dr. Bumpus and Dr. Malin at Knoxville Footcare in Knoxville, TN, are trained in a variety of treatments to provide pain relief to gout patients. However, long-term solutions are likely to require some changes in lifestyle. It is our hope that if more people know what causes gout, they’ll be able to avoid it or seek treatment as soon as they recognize symptoms.


Gout is caused by the accumulation of spiky crystals made from uric acids. Alcohol, meat, and sugar contain substances called purines that break down into uric acid. If something prevents the kidneys from filtering uric acid, they form crystals that get stuck in your joints. The base joint of the big toe is the most commonly affected location, but crystals can also build up in the ankles, fingers, or elbows too. If the crystals have been building up for a while, a sudden influx of purines can trigger a gout attack. During an attack, the joint swells noticeably, turns red, and is extremely painful or sensitive. Gout attacks often last for hours and could go on for days.


Unfortunately, there are some medications that put people at a higher risk for gout. You can decrease your risk by staying hydrated and avoiding excessive intake of alcohol, soda, and meat (particularly organ meat and seafood). Your trusted Knoxville podiatrists perform tests on your joint fluid to determine whether you have a dangerously high amount of uric acid crystals. If a patient is at risk, we provide them with anti-inflammatory medications and discuss dietary changes.


Do you think you could be suffering from gout? Come in for a visit so we can see what’s going on. We will get you started on a treatment plan unique to your problem! Knoxville Footcare is located at 1932 Alcoa Highway, Bldg C Suite 480, in Knoxville, TN 37920. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit knoxvillefootcare.com or call 480-832-5777.


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