Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

Connecting Gout and Diet

Gout, a form of arthritis notorious for its agonizing pain, stems from the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. While predominantly striking the big toe due to its anatomical distance from the heart, gout can also affect other joints throughout the body. Managing gout often involves navigating dietary choices, particularly purine-rich foods. Organ meats and certain cuts of meat, as well as acidic fare, can worsen symptoms. Lentils, beans, and some plant-based proteins also contain purines, though their impact on gout development remains debated. While gout cannot be cured, its frequency and severity can be managed through a combination of medication and changes to the types of foods you eat. By understanding the intricate interplay between diet and gout, individuals can proactively manage this debilitating condition, enhancing their quality of life and minimizing its disruptive effects. For additional help in reducing the effects of gout, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who is trained to treat and manage this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Michael Schwartzman, DPM from Illinois and Indiana . Our doctor 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 offices located in West Chicago, IL and Whiting, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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