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Gout is Not Just for the Big Toe

July 5, 2013 by Teresa.

Some of the hottest news off the press in regards to gout is a little surprising. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic are discovering that people with the highest risk of repeated gout attacks do not necessarily have their first episodes in the joint of their big toe. In fact, if gout first appears in other joints like the knees or elbows, the risk of having repeated attacks may even be higher.

Anyone who suffers with gout probably already knows that it is a painful form of arthritis. Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. Eventually, the uric acid can form crystals in the joints causing excruciating pain. This disease is often associated with the big toe.

When patients have a flareup of gout, they sometimes reach a quick conclusion that it is because their medicine isn't working. However, that simply is not the truth and stopping medication can prove to be very costly in the long run.

Although gout may be most common in the joint of the big toe, with about 70% of people experiencing their first attack in that area of the body, other joints can be targeted. The midfoot, ankles, knees, fingers, wrists and elbows can also be affected. Leaving gout untreated increases the possibility that more than one joint will be affected overtime as the disease progresses. Gout can be painful and debilitating. The sudden attacks can disrupt a person's sleep. The toe becomes sore, red, warm to the touch and swollen. Over time, if left untreated, deposits can develop around joints and tendons. These deposits are called tophi. They create visible lumps under the skin which can be disfiguring as well as painful.

Getting a proper diagnosis if you suspect that you're suffering from gout in any joint of the body is very important. The longer you go without treatment, the further the disease progresses, and the more likely you will be to experience more flareups.

Filed under: People with Gout, What is Gout.

Tags: gout, gout attacks, big toe, tophi, arthritis, flareups.

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