Gout Specialist

Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Normal, IL & Pontiac, IL

About 4% of American adults experience gout, a complex type of arthritis that causes pain in the base of the big toe. At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic, with two convenient locations in Normal and Pontiac, Illinois, Craig Cortese, DPM, FACFAS, Steve Yeschek, DPM, and Carl Cortese, BS, DPM, FACFAS, offer safe, effective treatments for gout that provide long-lasting relief. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.

Gout Q & A

What is gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that affects people of all ages and genders. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of swelling, pain, redness, and tenderness that affect the feet, particularly the joint at the base of the big toe.

There’s no cure for gout, but it’s possible to manage symptoms and minimize flare-ups. If you regularly experience pain in one or both big toes, don’t wait to seek professional medical help.

What are the symptoms of gout?

The symptoms of gout usually occur suddenly and during the night. Telltale signs of gout include:

  • Intense joint pain
  • Lingering joint discomfort
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Limited range of motion

As gout progresses, you might also find it difficult to place weight on your affected toe.

What causes gout?

Gout occurs when urate crystals build-up in one or several joints. Urate crystals form when your blood contains high levels of uric acid. Your body produces uric acid by breaking down purines.

Purines occur naturally in your body, but they’re also found in certain foods like steak, shellfish, and beer. If you eat a diet that includes foods and beverages high in purines, you’re also more likely to experience gout.

Who is at risk of gout?

Gout affects people of all ages, races, and genders, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Eating a diet with lots of meat and seafood
  • Drinking lots of beer
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure or diabetes
  • Taking certain medications like thiazide diuretics

You’re also more likely to experience gout if your parents or grandparents had it.

How is gout diagnosed?

To diagnose gout, Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle. Afterward, your provider orders a joint fluid test and blood tests, to measure the level of uric acid throughout your body.

If your provider suspects your joint pain is due to another underlying medical condition, they might also order an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to observe your bones, joints, and soft tissue structures.

How is gout treated?

Treatment for gout usually includes a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, prescription medications, and MLS laser therapy. For example, losing weight, exercising regularly, and eating a diet low in purines can significantly reduce your risk of flare-ups.

There are a variety of medications used to manage gout. Depending on your health history and the severity of your symptoms, your provider might recommend colchicine, corticosteroid injections, or medications that block uric acid production.

To explore the treatment options for gout, schedule an appointment at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic. Call the office or book a consultation online today.