Sore Big Toe: Could It Be Gout?

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Sore Big Toe

Did your big toe start throbbing in pain out of nowhere? The sudden pain could be a gout attack. But there’s no reason to fret; the condition affects about 8.3 million Americans, which means it’s fairly common. But should you be concerned?

This article serves as a guide to Gout and the relationship it shares with uric acid. If you notice any symptoms after reading this piece, consult an online doctor immediately.

How Can You Identify Gout?

There are certain symptoms that denote the presence of Gout in your body. They range from immense pain in a particular joint, usually the big toe, to swelling, heat, and redness in the same area. 

If you notice the symptoms in your big toe, or even in your ankle, small toes, or knee—get in touch with a doctor immediately. Gout flare-up can last for a few days, but sometimes it goes on for weeks. But that’s not all; in some cases, it keeps coming back and causes pain and discomfort. Moreover, with recurring Gout in old age, the joints become stiffer, and it gets difficult to move them. 

What’s the Connection Between Gout and Uric Acid?

Uric Acid leads to the development of Gout. This is because urate crystals cluster up in the joints and cause inflammation in them. High levels of uric acid that don’t find a way to leave the body can lead to the formation of these crystals—and the resulting condition can be extremely painful. 

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Some of the following foods lead to elevated levels of uric acid:

  • Alcohol, particularly beer
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Organ meats
  • Game meats
  • Herring and scallops
  • Mussels, codfish, and tuna, as well as trout and haddock
  • Beef, bacon, lamb, and turkey meat.

When the body breaks down these purine-rich foods, the level of uric acid increases. Naturally, uric acid passes through the bloodstream and out of your body when you urinate. But when there’s too much of it, the kidneys might fail to get rid of it. This leads to the formation of urate crystals and gout flare-ups. 

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What are the Treatment Options for Gout?

There are several methods that can help a person get rid of Gout in due time. Any health care provider is likely to opt for one of these treatment plans:

  • Usage of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs: These are specifically used to manage pain due to flare-ups. They usually include ibuprofen and colchicine. 
  • Making Lifestyle Changes: This is immensely important for people who have Gout. The changes include consuming a healthy diet, losing extra fat from your body, and limiting the consumption of alcohol and foods that are rich in purine.
  • Indulging in Preventative Therapy: Using drugs such as febuxostat, pegloticase, and allopurinol can make the management of uric acid easier. It also helps in preventing tophi and kidney stones from forming, doctors usually prescribe this treatment plan for people who have recurrent Gout. 

Is Gout a Hereditary Illness?

Gout is a hereditary illness, but it doesn’t necessarily happen to people with Gout in their family history. It can happen to anyone, but the risk of developing gout increases if the condition runs in the family.  

Which Factors Increase the Risk of Gout?

Elevated uric acid levels might be due to the following reasons, leading to Gout. Some of them are:

  • Having an imbalanced height to weight ratio; in simpler terms, obesity. This is because kidneys find it difficult to eliminate the high amount of uric acid that your body produces.
  • If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, your risk of developing gout increases. Often, metabolic syndrome and kidney diseases lead to Gout too.
  • If you consume medicines, such as low-dose aspirin, thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme,  to manage hypertension
  • Other factors include your age and gender. Men, for instance, tend to have a higher uric acid level in their bodies, while women have lower levels until they reach menopause.
  • If you have had surgery or injury recently, it can trigger a gout attack.
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Do You Need an Online Doctor?

Get in touch with the medical experts at TelMDCare for your gout flare-ups. Not only can these virtual doctors help you with Gout by managing uric acid, but they also offer treatment plans for strep throat infection, erectile dysfunction, and acute bronchitis. 

Now you can get medical help at home by using the services of telemedicine doctors at Tel MD Care. Click here to book an appointment today. 

About the Author

Kyle C. Smith is an Irish-American doctor who has done his specialization in acute care. He offers treatment for Bronchitis, Asthma, allergies, and other respiratory disorders. 

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