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What is Gout? Holiday Season Can Trigger Foot Pain

(Cedar Grove, NJ) Got gout? If so, Dr. Wachtler, a Cedar Grove foot and ankle surgeon has 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, says Dr. Matthew F. Wachtler, DPM, FACFAS.

Gout attacks can be difficult to diagnose, often mistaken for a sprain, arthritis or other ailments.  Gout attacks are extremely painful, often red, hot and swollen. If left untreated, they can last for months and cause significant joint damage.  They are caused when uric acid accumulates in the tissues or a joint and crystallizes. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint. Foods that are high in purines contribute to uric acid build-up.  People prone to gout attacks should 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 injections may be required as well as surgery to remove the uric acid crystals and even repair the joint.

For more information on gout and other foot and ankle conditions, contact Dr. Matthew F. Wachtler’s office at 973-857-1184 or visit www.cedargrovefoot.com

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