Gout affects as many as 8.3 million people in the United States. At InStride Family Foot Care, with offices in Albemarle, Concord, Matthews, Wake Forest, and Monroe, Gastonia, and two clinics in Charlotte, North Carolina, the podiatric specialists offer in-office diagnostic services to confirm gout. The experienced physicians customize your care plan to ease pain and inflammation, and help you make necessary changes in your life to reduce your risk factors for recurrent gout-related pain. Schedule a consultation by calling the InStride Family Foot Care office nearest you or by requesting an appointment online.
What is gout?
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that develops because of elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. These acids crystalize, then travel to the space between the joints, where they cause friction that leads to pain with your movements.
The inflammation and pain of gout most often affects the joint in your big toe, but is also common in your fingers, knees, and ankles. In addition to pain in the affected joint, gout can also cause swelling and inflammation that can worsen over time and interfere with your mobility.
Risk factors for gout include:
- Inactive lifestyle
- Use of fructose sweeteners
- Frequently eating red meat and seafood
If you have diabetes, are overweight, or have a family history of this type of arthritis, you may be at increased risk for developing gout.
How is gout diagnosed?
The InStride Family Foot Care podiatry team offers in-office foot evaluations to confirm gout is the root cause of your symptoms. During your assessment, your provider physically examines your foot to identify areas of swelling and pain.
You may also need blood work to check for elevated uric acid levels and an X-ray that shows your provider the severity of your gout.
How is gout treated?
The podiatry team at InStride Family Foot Care offers comprehensive treatment services for gout. The providers customize a care plan based on the severity of your pain and your overall health history.
In many cases, your provider recommends anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate your swelling and ease pain. Your provider also works closely with you on the necessary lifestyle changes that reduce your risk for gout-related pain. These changes include:
- Limiting alcohol
- Eating fresh foods
- Increasing your daily exercise
- Getting recommended amounts of vitamin C
If lifestyle changes and anti-inflammatory medicines aren’t enough to address your gout symptoms, your InStride provider may prescribe medications to slow down your body’s production of uric acid.
If you have symptoms of gout and need to confirm your diagnosis, schedule a consultation at InStride Family Foot Care by calling the office nearest you or using the online booking system. The best podiatrists in North Carolina can help you get back on your feet.