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Causes of Gout

Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

Gout is a painful inflammatory arthritis that often affects the big toe joint. It occurs when urate, a byproduct of purines found in body tissues and certain foods, accumulates and forms needle-shaped crystals in joints. This buildup results in redness, swelling, and extreme pain, disrupting the normal functioning of the affected joint. While high urate levels are a primary factor of causing gout, not everyone with elevated urate experiences gout. Genetics and environmental elements play roles in the urate accumulation process. Several factors increase the likelihood of gout, including familial history, male gender, menopause, advancing age, and alcohol consumption. Dietary choices also influence urate levels. Foods rich in purines, particularly those from animal sources, contribute to urate production. Additionally, habits such as consuming sugar-sweetened beverages amplify the risk. Certain health conditions add to the susceptibility for gout. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney disease, and high blood pressure can elevate urate levels. For advice in managing gout in the big toe or ankle, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM from Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Bellaire and Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
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