Gout is a common form of arthritis that occurs when urate crystals accumulate in the joints, causing inflammation and intense pain. Urate crystals can form when the blood contains high levels of uric acid.
Purine compounds produced in the body can raise uric acid levels. Excess uric acid can occur when the body produces too much uric acid or when it does not excrete enough uric acid. Uric acid crystals can deposit in joints causing inflammation and pain.
What to Expect When You See the Doctor
The doctor may examine your foot and ankle. They may recommend radiographs to look at the structure of your foot and the affected joint. Radiographs may identify any arthritis that is present secondary to recurrent gout attacks.
The doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications or a cortisone injection to decreased the inflammation at the joint. Labs including uric acid or other markers for arthritis or inflammation may be requested. Ultimately, your doctor may refer you back to your primary care for long term management of elevated uric acid levels.
Dietary management of uric acid is limited and so medication is often recommended. Although, some people may choose to try diet modifications first.
High Purine Foods
Include all types of alcohol, Some fish, seafood, shellfish such as anchovies, sardines, herring, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout, and haddock. Meats such as bacon, turkey, veal and liver. Foods with moderate purines include beef, chicken, duck, pork, and ham. Shellfish such as crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp also contain moderate amounts.
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