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At Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, it’s not unusual to see an increase in the cases of gout we treat in Lake, Cooke and Roselle-Dupage county patients during the holiday season. Below is some information about this painful condition and how to avoid it.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that most often strikes in a joint in the big toe. It is the result of an excessive amount of uric acid in the body which crystallizes in the joint causing extreme pain, swelling, redness and inflammation. In some patients the body produces too much uric acid; in others, the body doesn’t eliminate it well and for some, it is both. Gout is more common in men than in women.

Getting to the Source of the Problem

Diet is one of the primary triggers of gout and one reason why it is more prevalent during this festive season. Purines, a naturally occurring compound in the body and in certain foods, produce uric acid when they break down. Some foods high in purines are commonly part of holiday meals. These include red meat, shellfish, red wine, brandy, rich sauces and organ meats. If you have suffered a gout attack in the past, our podiatrists may advise you to refrain from eating these foods or, at the very least, severely limit the quantity of them that you consume.

There are other triggers for gout, however, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Certain medications and vitamins
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Stress
  • Obesity

Treatment

If you believe you have had a bout of gout, contact our offices in Bannockburn, Orland Park, Roselle or any of our other 16 conveniently located offices by calling 847-390-7666. Our foot doctors will conduct a thorough examination of your feet and take your medical history. Once they have diagnosed gout, they will track down the triggers that are affecting you and help you take steps to reduce your risk of future attacks. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to lower the chances of gout. To learn more, contact us.