Toe Pain

I have come to the conclusion that I have gout. A friend at work mentioned that gout might be the cause of the pain in my toe. I proceeded to look up gout on WebMD, and sure enough, one of the most common symptoms is severe pain in the big toe. I think I will set up an appointment with Dr. Vinton to discuss possible treatments. I wonder if this is the cause of all of the foot pain that I've experienced in the past few years. I sent Sharon the link to the WebMD site, and she agreed with my self-diagnosis. There was even a diagram of a big toe online!

Gout is a type of arthritis. It often results in acute attacks of pain in the big toe in the middle of the night, which corresponds perfectly to what I've experienced. Gout is a disease that affects 2 million Americans, and it appears that I am one of them. Since gout can affect several different joints, including the wrists, I have a feeling that I have experienced acute attacks of gout in the past. I remember my wrists being so sore at times that I could hardly bend them. The pain attacks generally last approximately two weeks, and then the joint feels normal again.

Uric acid is a waste product formed by the breakdown of purines in the body. An increased level of uric acid in the bloodstream can cause gout. Being overweight, as I am, and drinking a lot of alcohol, as I have in the past, both increase the risk of gout.

Gout has been linked to hereditary factors. I think I remember my mom telling me that Uncle Gene, and possibly Uncle Rob, have had gout.

Untreated gout can lead to joint damage.

Ibuprofin is suggested as a possible relief of pain, and for severe cases, prednisone may be used. However, both of these types of drugs can have side effects. The key to controlling gout on a long term basis is keeping uric acid levels within an acceptable range. Drinking a lot of water can also help with gout, because fluids help dilute the uric acid in blood and urine.

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