Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Friday, March 14, 2008


Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints. It causes the development of hyperuricemia which is the elevation of the level of uric acid in the blood. Hyperuricemia develops when the body produces more uric acid than can be filtered out by the kidneys. A diet high in rich foods, such as red meat and cream sauces, can contribute to the development of this condition. The first joint of the big toe and the ankles are the joints that are most commonly affected by gout.

Gout affects approximately 2.1 million people in the United States. It is more prevalent among in men who are forty to fifty years old. Women are more likely to be affected after menopause. There may be a genetic component to the risk of gout. Diabetes, sickle cell anemia, obesity, regular alcohol consumption, and kidney disease can increase the risk of developing gout. Aspirin, L-dopa, and other medications can interfere with the kidney’s ability to filter uric acid from the blood.

The individual with gout may experience pain and swelling in the effected joint. Gout can cause inflammation, redness, and stiffness in or around the joint. Usually, only one joint is affected at a time.

A physician may insert a needle into the joint and draw some synovial fluid to check for signs of uric acid buildup. The fluid is examined for the presence of microscopic uric acid crystals. If a blood test is used to check for elevated uric acid levels, the results may be misleading during an attack. During an attack of gout, the uric acid centralizes in the joint. Therefore, the blood levels during an attack may be normal.

Without treatment, the joints are at risk for permanent damage. The doctor may prescribe the use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Medication specifically for gout may be prescribed. Drinking plenty of water and limiting the consumption of alcohol and rich foods may help prevent gout.


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