Gout and the foot

Foot orthotics are suitable for gout attacks.

Gout can be made more comfortable by wearing a soft supportive orthotic. This supports and cushions the foot and places less strain on the joints of the foot.

Gout symptoms and treatment. Gout is a painful, arthritic condition of the joints. It usually strikes the big toes, but it can also affect the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. Dr. Andrew Weil

Gout is an extremely painful joint disease that affects about 3% of the population, mostly males. It is characterised by sudden attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis) caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints. Though any joint in the body can be involved, the big toe joint is usually the first location and is affected in almost 75% of cases.

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All about gout
Gout is a painful type of arthritis caused by having too much uric acid in the body. Risk factors include eating too much meat and shellfish, drinking too much beer, and being overweight.

By Madeline Vann, MPH | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Gout, also called monosodium urate crystal deposition disease, is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in people over age 65. About 6 million U.S. adults over age 20 say they have experienced gout symptoms at least once in their lives.

Defining Gout
“Gout is a caused by uric acid. We all have uric acid in our body. It’s made as a normal thing that our cells turn over; however, most of us pee it out and the levels never get high,” says rheumatologist Kevin Deane, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

If you have too much uric acid in your blood, you have hyperuricemia — but not everyone with this condition develops gout. “When uric acid gets high it forms crystals in the cool parts of your body, which are the joints,” he says.

This tendency to form crystals in the coolest part of the body explains why the big toe is often the first joint affected by gout, says Dr. Deane.

Usually, uric acid is processed out of your blood by your kidneys, but if your kidneys are not working well or you are eating a lot of foods that contain purine (which makes uric acid in your body), you may build up extra uric acid. One study found that men who ate lots of meat and seafood had greater odds of developing gout.

Read more in Everyday Health

Also see
Foot Pain Identifier, interactive tool at footEducation

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