Got Gout? Holiday Season Triggers Painful Toes

12/4/2007

Media contact: Melissa Matusek
(773) 693-9300, ext. 1306
melissa.matusek@acfas.org

 

(CHICAGO – December 4, 2007) Got gout? If so, doctors with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons have a recommendation for surviving the holidays: Watch what you eat and drink.

Changes in diet, including overindulging in certain foods and beverages, can cause gout attacks this time of year, surgeons say.

Gout attacks are extremely painful. They are caused when uric acid accumulates in the tissues or a joint and crystallizes. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint, because the toe is the coolest part of the body and uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes.

Foot and ankle surgeons say foods that are high in purines contribute to uric acid build-up. They recommend that people prone to gout attacks avoid purine-rich items such as shellfish (shrimp, crab, etc.), organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red meat, red wine and beer.

Gout can be treated with medications, diet changes, increasing consumption of appropriate fluids, and immobilizing the foot. In some cases surgery is required to remove the uric acid crystals and repair the joint. For more information on gout, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons consumer Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.

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