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Gout Symptoms: When Should You Call a PodiatristGout is a complicated form of arthritis that could strike anyone at any time. It involves a sudden and painful inflammation of the joints. The joint that is most often affected by gout is the base of the big toe. Gout symptoms may come and go, but the flares often get worse over time. If you have any of these symptoms of gout or other problems with the joints in your foot, it is a good idea to call the podiatrist for an examination and diagnosis.

 

Intense Joint Pain

The hallmark of gout symptoms is intense joint pain that comes on without any warning. A gout attack could wake you up in the middle of the night from a deep sleep. It usually affects the joint at the base of your big toe, but it could affect other joints in your body, such as your ankle or knees. More than one of your joints could be affected at the same time. The pain reaches its maximum about 4 to 12 hours after it begins.

Lingering Discomfort

Many people experience lingering discomfort after a gout attack. The pain gradually subsides, but you could still feel sore and tender in the affected joint for up to a few weeks. Each time you have a gout attack, it could affect additional joints, and the pain could linger on for a longer period of time.

Reduced Range of Motion

During a gout attack, you may not be able to move your big toe in the ways that you usually can. Pointing your toes could be difficult. You might notice increased pain when you stand on your tiptoes or when you push off to run or jump. Bending your foot to step up an incline or climb a set of stairs could worsen your pain. You might find it difficult to put on shoes.

Inflammation and Redness

During a gout attack, it is common to have inflammation of the affected joint. For example, if the big toe of your left foot is affected, its joint is likely to look swollen compared to the big toe on your right foot. The joint may also look red and feel warm to the touch. During a severe gout attack, the joint may be extremely tender. Putting a shoe on your foot could prove to be too painful. Even the pressure of a lightweight cotton or nylon sock might be more than you could bear.

When to Call a Podiatrist

Gout that is not treated could get progressively worse, leaving you with permanent joint damage. Untreated gout attacks often get more painful with time. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to call your podiatrist for an appointment:

A gout attack that continues to get worse over a few days

* You cannot put weight on the affected foot

* You develop a fever along with the joint pain

 *These are signs of an infection that require prompt medical treatment

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