Gout is one of the diseases collected under the class of arthritis, since it affects joints in your body. It results from high levels of a substance called uric acid in your bloodstream. A byproduct of diet and kidney function, uric acid can form crystals in joints, resulting in painful inflammation.
Of all Americans affected by gout, only about 5% are women, and even then, female patients tend to be older before their first attack. If you’re experiencing the sudden, severe pain of a gout attack, contact the podiatrists at Hudson Valley Foot Associates for help. Our team specializes in gout treatment, and they can relieve your symptoms quickly while working with you to find a long-lasting solution.
Uric acid is a natural byproduct of consuming certain food and drink containing chemicals called purines. Your kidneys filter out uric acid and release it during urination.
Overproduction of this acid can overwhelm your kidneys, or if you have kidney problems, they may not be able to process normal levels as quickly as they once did. This results in hyperuricemia, a high level of uric acid in the body.
This is the fundamental condition that leads to gout attacks, though not everyone with hyperuricemia gets them. When uric acid crystals gather in joints, their sharp, needle-like shape irritates joint tissue, causing a gout attack.
As well as the intense pain caused by the crystals, there are other common symptoms, including:
Gout attacks typically come on quickly. You can go to bed feeling fine, for instance, and wake up in the middle of the night due to the intense pain.
One of the primary risk factors for gout is simply being male. Men typically have higher levels of uric acid in their bodies than women. Therefore, they’re closer to hyperuricemia to begin with, making them more susceptible to attacks when they experience other risk conditions.
Research shows that men suffering from metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop gout. The same condition in women doesn’t increase their risk.
When women develop gout, it’s likely to be later in life. After menopause, uric acid levels in women tend to rise closer to those of men. Women are also more likely to develop gout as a result of high consumption of fish and shellfish than men. Otherwise, risk factors are similar for both genders.
With seven locations, Hudson Valley Foot Associates is conveniently located to help you with gout or any other foot-related issue. You can reach the closest office by phone or by using the appointment request link on this page. While extremely painful, gout symptoms can be resolved quickly with medications, so don’t delay. Make an appointment at the first sign of trouble.