DR. JACOBSON DISCUSSES GOUT
It is unknown why the number one location that Gout strikes is the big toe or actually the 1st MPJ (metatarsophalangeal joint). This joint is at the base of your big toe on the inside of your foot. Gout can affect any joint in the body but its love affair with the great toe joint has been well documented.
What is Gout?
We all have uric acid as a normal component in our blood stream. Under certain condition the uric acid level in our blood rises. When this happens the uric acid settles into a joint, usually the great toe joint. This causes a red hot swollen joint. It looks like an infection but it is not. It is an acute gout attack. The pain can be so intense that just touching it with a wisp of cotton is unbearable. It needs help ASAP. A short course of strong anti-inflammatory medication usually decreases pain within 24 hours. By three days it should be much improved.
A simple blood test at the onsite of symptoms will help determine if you have a gout attack. It measures the uric acid in the blood. This along with the clinical presentation is often enough to make the diagnosis. When there is doubt, withdrawing a sample of the synovial fluid from the inflamed joint and examining it under the microscope will show uric acid crystals. This will also help distinguish it from pseudogout or false gout which mimics gout.
You want to prevent future attacks!
Repeated attacks may cause disabling gouty arthritis, bone destruction, and non-healing wounds that drain a white pasty mess of uric acid know as gouty tophi.
Many times avoiding certain foods and alcohol will prevent attacks. Certain medications can cause a gout attack. Some people just have an abnormally high uric acid. In these cases a medication will need to be taken daily to prevent the attacks. Although television is promoting a new gout medication, there is a generic medicine available that was used for decades with great success. Dr. Jacobson treats the manifestations of gout, but prefers to work with you medical doctor if you need long term treatment. It is a team approach.
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