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Tuesday, 14 May 2024 00:00

A Guide to Diagnosing Gout

Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, can be excruciating, often affecting the big toe and ankles. Recognizing its symptoms is vital for timely management. The diagnosis begins with a keen observation of the symptoms, which are often sudden, intense joint pain, swelling, redness, and warmth, typically striking at night or in the early hours. The affected joint might feel tender to the touch, making even the lightest pressure unbearable. An accurate diagnosis often involves a comprehensive medical history review and a physical examination by a podiatrist. They may also conduct tests like joint fluid analysis to detect urate crystals, which are consistent with gout. Blood tests measuring uric acid levels can aid in confirmation, although high levels do not always guarantee a diagnosis. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may reveal joint damage in chronic cases. If you have pain in the top of your foot, with a focus on the big toe, it is strongly suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can effectively treat gout.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Nashville Family Foot Care. Our practitioners 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 office located in Nashville, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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