Some people may not know, but gout is a type of arthritis. It occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the blood, lodging in the joint, and mostly strikes men over the age of 40. The symptoms of gout are a very sore, swollen big toe. These symptoms can suddenly appear. The attack can last for a few days and go away but it can come back and be worse.
Why Gout affects the big toe?
It’s a weird ailment. Why does it prefer the big toe? Well, uric acid forms crystals more easily in cooler environments.
And your toes are perfect because they are slightly cooler that the other parts of the body. The wear and tear on your feet from walking everyday also contribute to it.
However, gout can attack other areas of your body including elbows, wrists, pelvis, fingers, shoulders, spine and some organs of the body.
Causes of gout
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, things that cause gout are easier to pin point. Regularly drinking too much alcohol and being overweight can contribute to uric acid build up. Also, eating too many foods high in “purines can cause or worsen gout. This is because the body coverts purines to uric acid.
Avoid foods include liver, kidneys, dried beans, spinach, mushrooms, peas, sardines to mention just a few.
Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Water dilutes uric acid and aids its removal by the kidneys.
Blood pressure drugs cause gout. This form of gout usually attacks women with poor kidney function. The joints of the hands are most affected. So, if you’re taking a diuretic and you have severe pain in your hands and knees, speak to your doctor and get checked for gout.