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Podiatrist - Cromwell
162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416

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A disorder at Feet First Foot Care Specialists we see more frequently in our Middlesex County patients at this time of the year is gout. Colder temperatures and festive feasting are partly to blame. That’s because this arthritic condition can be triggered by some foods that are popular during the holidays. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up to excessive levels. If the kidneys do not eliminate it, it can crystalize in one or more joints. It is more likely to crystalize under cold conditions, and that is why gout typically occurs in the big toe. That being the part of the body farthest away from the heart and therefore the coldest.

Common Gout Triggers

There are several potential causes of gout— you can control some, others you cannot.

The conditions of which you likely do not have control, are:

  • Gender—Men are more likely to get gout than women. This condition most commonly strikes men between the ages of 30-50. Women can get gout, too, however. After menopause, their levels of uric acid increase, which is when they are more likely to experience an attack.
  • Family history—Your risk for gout increases if others in your family have had this disease.
  • Injury, and surgery— These too can be potential triggers for a gout attack.

Gout triggers over which you have some control:

  • Diet—Some foods and beverages contain high levels of purines—a chemical that usually occurs in your body. When purines break down, they produce uric acid, hence why eating purine-high foods can trigger an attack of gout. These foods and beverages include shellfish, red meat, organ meats, rich sauces, legumes, drinks sweetened with fructose, beer, brandy, and red wine. Limiting your intake of these items or eliminating ones directly tied to an attack may reduce the risk of gout in the future.
  • Weight—Being overweight causes your body to produce more uric acid making it difficult for your kidneys to excrete the excess. Another way maintaining a healthy weight benefits your feet.
  • Medical conditions—some diseases and disorders increase your chances of developing gout. These include high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Following your doctor’s treatment instructions for controlling these conditions can help reduce gout risk.
  • Medications—some vitamins and medications can also increase uric acid level. These include anti-rejection drugs given for patients who have had an organ transplant, low-dose aspirin, and some blood pressure medications. You can check with your doctor to see if there are effective alternatives if you are prone to gout.

If you have experienced gout symptoms—excruciating pain in your toe, swelling, redness, and heat surrounding the joint, contact our Cromwell office by calling 860-632-5499. Our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, can determine if you have gout and how to manage it best.

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162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416