Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Albuquerque, NM, Rio Rancho, NM, South Valley, NM, Edgewood, NM & Grants, NM

Gout is a type of arthritis that affects the joints in your feet, particularly the big toe. The board-certified podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico provide patient-centered gout treatment at their five locations in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, South Valley, Edgewood, and Grants, New Mexico. If you think you have gout, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Gout Q & A

What is gout?

Gout is a complex form of inflammatory arthritis that causes intense pain, swelling, and stiffness, usually in the big toe joint. 

People who have gout experience sudden, severe attacks of pain and symptoms, known as flares. They also experience time periods of no symptoms, known as remission. 

What are the symptoms of gout?

Gout flares strike suddenly and may last for days or weeks. Symptoms of a gout flare include severe pain, swelling, redness, and heat. 

Though gout most often affects the big toe, you can also get it in other joints, including lesser toes, the ankle, and the knee. Gout typically affects one joint at a time. 

You may experience a long period of remission — weeks, months, or even years — before the next gout flare. 

What causes gout?

Gout is due to a buildup of uric acid, a condition known as hyperuricemia. Your body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are substances that occur naturally in your body. Certain foods are also high in purines, including red meat, oily fish, and organ meats. 

Excess uric acid turns into crystals, which can build up in your joints and cause gout. Certain factors may increase your risk of gout, including:

  • Eating a diet rich in purines
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having a family history of gout
  • Certain medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Using certain medications, including diuretics

Hyperuricemia doesn’t always lead to gout. If you have hyperuricemia without gout symptoms, treatment isn’t necessary.

How is gout diagnosed and treated?

First, the team at Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam. They may also take an X-ray or ultrasound of the joint at their on-site imaging facility. 

After they confirm a diagnosis of gout, your podiatrist creates a personalized treatment plan. Treatment for gout may include:

  • Taking medications
  • Changing your diet
  • Limiting alcoholic beverages
  • Exercising regularly and losing weight

Your podiatrist works with you to help alleviate the pain and symptoms of gout attacks while also preventing future flares. 

For expert treatment of gout, call Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico or book an appointment online today.