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What help for your Gout in Foot? 10+ Solutions that can help you

Gout is a general name for a variety of conditions that result from a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. This build-up usually affects your feet. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines in many of the foods we eat. An abnormality in the management of uric acid and the crystallisation of these compounds in the joints can cause painful arthritis attacks.

Gout in foot is a particular form of arthritis that causes recurrent attacks of severe pain in one or more joints. Gout attacks usually last a few days and then the symptoms disappear for several weeks. All joints can be affected, but most often the disease starts in the joint at the base of the big toe. The joint then becomes purplish red and swollen.

Gout in Foot Symptoms

Acute attacks of gout are characterised by the rapid onset of pain in the affected joint, followed by heat, swelling, reddish discolouration and marked tenderness. Some people even report feeling as if the affected area is on fire. The small joint at the base of the big toe is the most common area for an attack.[1]

Other joints that may be affected are the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows. In some people, the acute pain is so severe that the slightest touch of the bed sheet to the toe causes acute pain. These painful attacks usually subside within hours or days, with or without medication. In rare cases, an attack can last for weeks. Most people with gout will have repeated attacks over the years.

Stages of Gout

Symptoms and treatment differ according to stage. There are four stages of gout:

  • asymptomatic hyperuricaemia
  • acute gout
  • intermittent gout
  • chronic gout
Asymptomatic hyperuricaemia

Hyperuricemia occurs when you have too much uric acid in your blood. If you have no other symptoms, this is asymptomatic hyperuricemia.

Acute gout

Acute gout occurs when hyperuricemia causes uric acid crystals to form in one of your joints. It causes severe pain and swelling. Your joint may also feel hot. Your symptoms will come on suddenly and will probably last for 3 to 10 days. You may experience several acute attacks of gout over a period of months or years.

Intermittent gout

Intermittent gout is the period between attacks of acute gout. You will have no symptoms at this stage.

Chronic gout

Chronic gout can occur if you leave it untreated. It can take 10 years or more to develop. During this stage, hard nodules (tophi) develop in your joints and in the skin and soft tissue around them. Tophi can also develop in other parts of your body, such as your ears. They can cause permanent damage to your joints.[2]

Gout in Foot Causes

Gout is a complex disease. It can be caused by a variety of factors. Certain conditions, such as blood and metabolic disorders, can cause your body to produce too much uric acid.[3] Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to excess uric acid.

Certain foods can also promote gout when you eat too much of them. These include:

  • seafood
  • red meat
  • offal
  • sweetened juice
  • salt

You can also get gout if your body does not excrete uric acid properly. If you are dehydrated or starving, it can be difficult for your body to excrete uric acid. It then builds up as deposits in your joints.[4]

Certain diseases and conditions, such as kidney or thyroid problems, can also affect your body’s ability to eliminate uric acid. Some medicines can also make it harder for your body to remove uric acid. These include diuretics and immunosuppressive fungal drugs.[5]

See here: Gout Causes.

Risk factors

Obesity, excessive weight gain, especially in young people, moderate to heavy alcohol consumption, high blood pressure and abnormal kidney function are among the risk factors for developing gout. Certain medications and diseases can also cause high levels of uric acid. In addition, there is an increased prevalence of abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) in patients with gout.

Diagnosis of Gouty Arthritis

Gout is considered when a patient reports a history of repeated attacks of painful arthritis, especially at the base of the toes or in the ankles and knees. The most reliable test for gout is the detection of uric acid crystals in joint fluid obtained by joint aspiration. This procedure is performed under topical local anaesthetic. Using a sterile technique, fluid is withdrawn (aspirated) from the inflamed joint using a syringe and needle.[5]

However, a full blood work-up, X-rays and an overall assessment of the patient’s health is the first line of assessment for gout.

Gout in Foot Treatment

The treatment plan prescribed by your podiatrist will depend on the stage and severity of your gout. Medications often prescribed :

  • colchicine (oral medication) to reduce pain in your joint
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce inflammation and pain in your joint
  • corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation and pain in your joint
  • medicines to reduce the production of uric acid in your body, such as allopurinol
  • medicines to help your body eliminate uric acid, such as probenecid

In addition to medication, your podiatrist may recommend lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of future gout attacks. For example, they may encourage you to :

  • adjust your diet
  • reduce your alcohol intake
  • lose weight
  • stop smoking
  • Intra-articular cortisone injections can be given to reduce chronic gout symptoms.

Home remedies for Gout on Foot include RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, as well as natural home remedies and common medication.[6]

Curcumin and Boswellia for Gout

Gout in Foot Diet

The special gout diet aims to reduce the level of uric acid to alleviate attacks of joint pain. The diet is:

  • Reduce consumption of purine-rich foods in favour of low-purine foods;
  • Replenish vitamin C;
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight;
  • Avoid saturated fats and glucose-fructose syrup;
  • Limiting alcohol consumption.

Indeed, to lower your uric acid levels in the event of gout, it is easy to choose foods low in purines and to include them in your diet. In fact, by adding a good supply of vitamin C, Omega-3 and protective foods, you are much more likely to keep gout attacks at bay and thus have a better quality of life.[7]

You should make sure to favour foods low in purines during meals. This will help prevent attacks and reduce the symptoms of gout.

There are certain foods that are best for gout. Some studies have shown that low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, nuts and all Omega-3 rich foods can help reduce the risk of gout.[8]

It is also recommended that protein, carbohydrate and fat intake is spread throughout the day by eating 3 balanced meals and snacks if necessary.[9]

Home Remedies for Gout

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Gout: What helps quickly?

You want know what helps quickly gout in foot? The answer is easy:

  • Taking an anti-inflammatory drug or colchicine to relieve pain
  • Local application of ice
  • Rest of the affected joint
  • Drink 2 to 3 liters of water per day.
  • Injection of corticosteroids or a joint puncture
  • Eat less food rich in animal proteins (especially red meat and offal)
  • Eat more dairy products and vegetables
  • A progressive and balanced weight loss

Read More: Gout: What helps quickly?

Gout Toe: Cool or Warm?

The first emergency treatment you can use to ease the pain is to put an ice pack on the painful joint. Cover the ice pack with a clean cloth before applying it to the joint. This prevents the burning sensation associated with cold. Cold therapy has an analgesic effect on pain. Leave the bag on for 10 minutes, 3-4 times a day. Dry the joint well after each application.

Indeed, it is advisable to apply cold rather than heat, since heat aggravates the symptoms. However, when the inflammation subsides, you can apply warm compresses to your foot.

Ice is normally used to :

  • Temporarily relieve pain
  • Reduce blood flow around the problem area
  • Reduce swelling

If used properly, heat can :

  • Restore range of motion in your toes and foot
  • Relieve pain caused by the after-effects of the attack
  • Calm muscle spasms

Applying heat relieves pain and stiffness by relaxing sore muscles and stimulating blood flow to the affected area. However, it has been suggested that heat may exacerbate symptoms when the joint is already inflamed.

Cold causes blood vessels to constrict and blocks nerve impulses in the joint, resulting in numbness in the painful area. Applying an ice pack or cold compress relieves inflammation and would therefore be the method of choice when the joint is inflamed.

How long does a Gout Attack in Foot last?

A gout attack lasts several days and repeats itself every few weeks to several years. It is manifested by a sudden, intense and pulsating pain in a joint. The attack occurs mostly at night. It is important to know that the joints on the extremities of the limbs are more sensitive than the others. This is because they are colder and the cold can cause the uric acid to turn into crystals.

When the microcrystals of uric acid dissolved in the blood, and therefore present in all tissues, are in too high a concentration and the local conditions are favourable (in particular sufficient local acidity of the environment), they precipitate. In a joint, this precipitation leads to a local inflammation responsible for the gout attack. This preferentially affects the big toe joint (see figure 1), but also all the joints of the foot, hand, elbow or knee. Other joints are more rarely affected.

The attack begins suddenly, with often intense pain, which may wake the sleeping patient. The big toe (most often affected) is red, hot and swollen. The pain is pulsating. The attack will last from a few days to a few weeks (the first attacks are shorter and often less intense than the following ones).

Usually, especially in the first attacks, only one joint is affected. Later, several joints may be affected, or even the tendons (gouty tendonitis) or the periarticular bursae (gouty bursitis).

The most characteristic point is that the gout attack will disappear by itself, without any treatment and everything will return to normal without any after-effects… until the next attack. For several years the gout sufferer will have an attack from time to time (every one to two years), then the attacks will come closer together, but always, the interval between two attacks is normal. This is the acute gout phase.

Over the years, however, not only are the attacks more frequent, but the period between two attacks is no longer completely normal, joint pain persists, the joint becomes deformed (the X-ray shows this perfectly) and ends up being destroyed, giving less intense but permanent pain. The damage is now chronic and we speak of chronic gout. At this stage, reached after years of acute phase, the deposits of uric acid in the tissues are major (we speak of gouty tophus), sometimes visible under the skin. The most dangerous deposits are those in the kidney, which eventually stops functioning properly, leading to kidney failure and its ultimate treatment: kidney dialysis.

How do I know if I have gout in my foot?

Gout is manifested by the occurrence of inflammatory joint flare-ups called "gout attacks". The clinical diagnosis can be completed by complementary examinations.  For many people, the first attack of gout occurs at the base of the big toe. Then, gout attacks can occur in any joint, but it is the joints of the lower limbs - knees, ankles and feet - that are most often affected.

The first attacks usually subside within three to ten days, but they can return and last longer if left untreated. Most people will have a second attack within a year. Over time, attacks may become more frequent, longer and affect more joints. Recurrent gout attacks can cause permanent joint damage. Early diagnosis and treatment are therefore essential.

Read More: How do I know if I have gout in my foot?

What are the symptoms of gout in foot?

Gout in foot symptoms are strong. Gout can cause sudden and intense pain in one or more joints. Note that most often, these pains occur at night. For example, the simple contact of the sheets can become unbearable. The joint appears red and swollen, and the pain may be accompanied by fever and chills. In 70% of the first attacks of gout, it is the big toe that is affected. However, the ankle, wrist, hand, knee or elbow can also be affected.

A gout attack also manifests itself by swelling or redness in the affected area. A great sensation of cold on the affected joint is felt by the subject. Rarely, generalized joint pain accompanied by general malaise may appear. Fevers up to 39°C and chills may also occur.

Read More: What are the symptoms of gout in foot?

How do you treat gout in your foot?

To treat gout on foot, rest is the ideal remedy to cure the gout attack. Indeed, it is advisable to remain calm as much as possible and to rest as long as the pain has not subsided. In addition, it is not recommended to cover the painful areas. Also, it is advisable to apply an ice pack on the affected joints, to do the correct diet and to stay hydrated. Gout can evolve by affecting several joints and lead to renal complications if not well treated.

But a distinction must be made between two different stages of gout treatment: treatment of the attack and treatment of the hyperuricaemia.

Treatment of the gout attack combines rest of the affected joint (in bed, therefore, for a foot joint) and therefore a work stoppage until the attack disappears, with measures against pain: ice bladder on the joint combined with painkillers (either the traditional colchicine or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Treatment of hyperuricemia consists in hypo-uricemics, the basic treatment for gout. If the uricemia is brought back to normal, the gout attacks disappear. It is therefore understood that if this basic treatment is implemented at the stage of acute gout, the patient is cured (at the imperative price of taking the drug daily), but that if it is administered at the stage of chronic gout, the gout will no longer evolve but the joint damage that has already occurred will not be reversible.

In practice, a hypouricemic treatment is only recommended when the number of attacks is more than one per year. This treatment should always be started at a distance from an attack and under cover of anti-inflammatory medication or colchicine for a few months (otherwise there is a risk of triggering a new attack).

Different types of hypouricemic drugs are used: those that reduce the production of uric acid (including the classic allopurinol), or those that increase the renal elimination of uric acid (uricosurics), depending on the mechanism. The aim of the treatment is to suppress the attacks, to bring the uric acid level below 60 mg/litre (hence the need to check this level periodically to adjust the doses of the drug if necessary).

From a dietary point of view, it is necessary to avoid products that raise uric acid: food (offal, shellfish in particular) and drinks (cooked wines, strong alcohols, beer even without alcohol and especially sodas) and to recommend those that lower it (milk and dairy products, fruit containing vitamin C: orange, grapefruit, cherries).

Will gout in foot go away by itself?

Gout attack can last one to two weeks and then disappear on its own, without any treatment and everything can return to normal without any after-effects. But this is only until the next attack. For several years, the gout sufferer will have an attack from time to time (every one to two years), then the attacks will come closer together. This is the acute gout phase. 

What is the main cause of gout in foot?

Podagra is a form of gout that affects the joints of the foot or toes and results in acute, painful inflammatory episodes or attacks. The inflammation is caused by excess uric acid forming small crystals in and around the joints. Uric acid in the body increases when certain foods (especially seafood, red meat or organ meats such as liver or kidney) and alcohol are consumed. The main symptoms of podagra are swelling, tenderness and redness of the joint. Gout mainly affects people over the age of 30 and men more often than women.

Typical symptoms involve severe pain in the joints of the foot and toes, along with redness, swelling, difficulty moving the joints and sometimes tophi (deposits of uric acid crystals in the form of firm, yellowish nodules). Symptoms usually appear suddenly and gout attacks are often recurrent.

Pain and swelling during an attack of podagra is controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers (such as ibuprofen, paracetamol or colchicine). Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, may also help manage gout.

What is best pain relief for gout in foot?

  • Drink water to stay hydrated.
  • Do not drink alcohol or eat foods high in purines.
  • Take stress off the joint, for example, try walking with a cane
  • Elevate your foot.
  • Apply a cold pack to keep the joint cool.
  • Find ways to relieve tension caused by pain, such as deep breathing and meditation.
  • Take home remedies such as curcumin, boswellia, cherry juice,...
  • Take medicines, such as NSAIDs, colchicine and corticosteroids.

How long does gout last on foot?

During a gout attack, pain, swelling and/or redness appear in the affected joint. Gout attacks vary in duration: some last only a few hours, others last several days. Sometimes people with acute gout only have attacks once or twice a year.

If the attack is very acute, it can last 3 to 10 days on average. Chronic gout occurs more often, but may be less severe.

Sources

Gout

Gout

Springer Science & Business Media. 2012

Gout: Basic Science and Clinical Practice is a thoroughly researched comprehensive text which covers all important aspects of gout, including its genetics, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. Gout is probably the most common rheumatic disease after osteoarthritis and is becoming more common with the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the US, and in many other countries. Only about 10% of patients with gout are treated by rheumatologists and this often leads to inadequate...

Understanding Gout

Understanding Gout

Healthy Living Publications. 2014

Effective gout management is attainable! Gout is a chronic, painful, degenerative disease of the joints and one of the most common inflammatory arthritic conditions. But relief is at hand! Understanding Gout examines the causes, symptoms,and treatments of this debilitating disease and identifies who might be at risk. Here is the essential information about testing, diagnosis, and complications that can arise from untreated attacks. Along with a review of the medications used for managing...

Gout

Gout

Oxford University Press. 2016

Gout has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, and is now the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. There have been significant developments in our understanding of the basic biology of gout over the last decade, and major advances in therapeutics have provided successful treatments for acute attacks and long-term prevention, offering clinicians effective treatment options for their patients. Part of the Oxford Rheumatology Library series, Gout provides an up-to-date summary...

 

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4 Comments

  • Louise
    Posted 30. August 2022 at 17:44

    This information is very useful to me because I have been suffering from gout for a year. Excellent information that I found here to be able to fight this disease!

  • Alessa
    Posted 1. September 2022 at 12:38

    I have been suffering from gout for several years and the pain is so desperate. I love this information, it is very useful at this time!

  • Kai
    Posted 6. September 2022 at 19:57

    Excellent information on gout. When you suffer from this sometimes you think that nothing can help you, but I found several options here. I loved it!

  • Emily
    Posted 2. November 2022 at 16:51

    I didn’t know that my overweight also affects the gout in my foot. I just learned that thanks to this information, in fact I have to make several changes in my life to find relief from these pains. I will follow these simple tips hoping to find a solution against Gout.

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