If you’ve ever had gout before you know that it can be extremely painful – even arising overnight. Gout is a disorder caused by the build-up of uric acid, most often in the joint of the big toe. Because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes it is more likely to crystallize in the joint of the big toe because it is the coolest part of the body, and it can become very painful. Uric acid is present in the blood and is eliminated in the urine. It is the result of the breakdown of purines – foods with high levels of purines include red meat, red wine, and beer. Watching your diet to avoid these foods can help control your gout attacks.
In addition to being inherited, there are other factors that put a person at risk for developing gout: high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, water pills, and simply being a man aged 40 to 60. It is important for Dr. Mendoza to look at your x-rays and personal and family history to determine if the inflammation is caused by something other than gout. Depending on the severity of your gout attack, he may write you a prescription or give you an injection to help relieve the pain.