Gout attacks suddenly and causes severe pain, often in the joint of your big toe. While your symptoms may clear up, gout generally recurs without the care of a skilled podiatrist like Dr. McElvin Pope in New York City and Long Island City. At his Manhattan practice, Dr. Pope has extensive experience in relieving gout pain and prescribing medications to prevent future flare-ups and joint damage. If you experience a gout episode, call or use online booking to schedule an appointment for expert care.
Gout occurs when uric acid crystals build up in your joints. Although gout can affect any joint in your body, it usually affects different areas in your foot and ankle, most commonly the joint at the base of your big toe.
Your body produces uric acid typically when it metabolizes substances call purines, which appear naturally in some types of food. Purines are also provided by your body because they help build DNA.
Excess uric acid is released from the body when you urinate, but uric acid levels in your blood can get too high when your kidneys don’t filter it out, or if your body produces too much. Uric acid crystals end up accumulating in your joints when blood levels are elevated.
These factors can increase your risk for gout:
Gout attacks are notorious for appearing suddenly, usually during the night while you’re sleeping. The affected joint quickly becomes swollen, red, warm, and very painful.
Although the severe symptoms usually go away in about ten days, the affected joint may continue to cause discomfort for several weeks.
You can also develop recurring episodes of gout. When this happens, it’s important to see Dr. Pope because gout attacks become more frequent and nodules of uric acid can become permanently lodged in your joints. Over time, the nodules cause joint damage.
Dr. Pope may recommend avoiding high-purine foods and drinking plenty of water to help prevent future gout flare-ups. Long-term treatment of gout, however, usually includes medication.
When you have an acute flare-up, oral medications can help relieve the pain. Dr. Pope may prescribe one of several oral medications that prevent future attacks by lowering uric acid production or boosting the amount of uric acid eliminated from your body.
In some cases, Dr. Pope may recommend injections or topical medications that reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In severe or recurring cases, you may need surgery to remove uric acid nodules and repair the joint.
For effective pain relief and to prevent future gout flare-ups, call or schedule an appointment online today.