Is your big toe hurting? It was cold outside and you were sleeping soundly when suddenly your feet felt numb. You were shocked to discover that your big toe was swollen and hurting badly when you turned on the light. You crawled to the medicine cabinet in the hope that the pain would go away once you have taken some aspirin. You rolled around on the bed all night trying to endure the pain, while flashing back to your past and wondering what caused the painful swelling of your big toe.
The pain can be unbearable if you’re like many others who have been in the same situation. It seems impossible to get back to sleep. It is difficult to get to the hospital in the middle of night so you end up spending your time on the computer or using your smart phone to search for the reason your big toe hurts. If your big toe is swollen and you’re certain you haven’t stepped on anything, it’s possible that you have a gout attack. Gout can be confirmed if you are a huge fan of meaty foods and alcohol, or if you have been drinking a lot recently.
It can be difficult to accept that you are becoming a patient of gout, especially if it is something you believe you are capable of accepting. Don’t panic. It’s not the end of your world. You are not the only one. Many young people suffer from gout and have also experienced the same shock. Modern people have changed their diets to include foods high in protein and acidity, such as seafood, beer, and soft drinks. These foods can cause a rise in uric acids. When it reaches saturation point, the uric acids will crystallize and float within the joints.
Usually, this happens at the big toe joint. The immune system will immediately react to the presence of a solid urate crystal and trigger an immune response that causes inflammation that causes unbearable pain. Now you understand why your big toe hurts. You can now soak your feet in warm water to increase blood circulation and possibly melt the urate crystal.
Do not soak your foot in cold water, or place an ice pack on it to relieve the pain. Low temperatures will only increase the rate at which urate crystals form, which will only make your condition worse. If you are unable to bear the pain, it is best to visit a doctor immediately and get a prescription for Colchicine or painkiller to reduce the inflammation. If you don’t want to visit the doctor for a quick fix, and if the pain is not unbearable, you can just rest at home and drink lots of water. Avoid excessive movement of the affected feet. The pain will usually subside within a few days.