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Tests to Determine if You Have Gout

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 00:00

Experiencing sudden joint pain, swelling, and redness in your big toe? It could be gout, a condition where urate crystals accumulate in the joints. To determine whether you have gout, a podiatrist may recommend various tests. Blood tests are essential to check uric acid levels, although elevated levels don't always signify gout. Joint fluid testing, or arthrocentesis, involves extracting fluid from the affected joint to identify uric acid crystals, confirming a gout diagnosis. Ultrasound imaging can reveal inflammation and the presence of crystals, or tophi, around the joint. Additionally, dual-energy computerized tomography, or DECT, scans provide detailed images to show uric acid crystals within the joints, aiding in diagnosis. If you're experiencing severe and persistent discomfort in the big toe joint, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist. This foot doctor is medically trained to diagnose symptoms of gout and offer the appropriate options to manage this condition. 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Kendall Blackwell from InStride Wilson Podiatry Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wilson, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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