Skip to main content

Foot Diseases: Gout

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.



What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that affects 8.3 million people (4% of the population) and the risk increases with age. Uric acid crystals build up in the joints causing intense pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, typically in the big toe. However, it can occur in the knees, fingers, wrists, ankles, or ankles. Uric acid is a naturally occurring waste product in our bodies, and gout can occur when the kidneys are not removing it fast enough.

Gout can occur very quickly and return numerous times, which harms the tissues in the area of the inflammation, and it is very painful. There is a long-held misconception that gout is the disease of kings due to gluttony, and this belief ignores the genetic cause.

Toes with nerve damage

Toes with nerve damage

All About Gout

The facts concerning gout include:

  • Gout risk factors include hypertension, obesity, and heart disease
  • This form of arthritis is due to excess uric acid in the bloodstream
  • Uric acid (hyperuricemia) forms crystals, typically at the base of the big toe
  • It is more common in men but women may be susceptible after menopause
  • Gout often occurs without any warning in the middle of the night during
  • Symptoms at the affected joint include warmth, swelling, and redness
  • It is very painful, especially during the first 4 to 12 hours
  • Some discomfort may last for days or even weeks
  • There is no cure for gout, but it is treatable
  • Range of motion around the affected joint may be limited as gout progresses

A gout attack can cause trouble walking or even completing your usual everyday tasks.

Diagnosis is done with a joint fluid test. A needle is used to extract fluid that will be examined for urate crystals.

Treatment for Gout

There is no cure for gout. The pain is usually treated with anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, or corticosteroids. To reduce uric acid in the blood medications like xanthine oxidase inhibitors (allopurinol) are prescribed. Probenecid may be used to improve the kidney’s ability to remove uric acid.

Treatment is also aimed at preventing future gout attacks and preventing complications of this disease, such as kidney stones or the development of tophi (a deposit of uric acid crystals). Reducing the amount of uric acid in the blood can help prevent future attacks.

Dietary changes may be recommended as high amounts of purines are found in meat, seafood, and poultry. The breakdown of purines produces uric acid. Reducing the amount of alcohol intake may help, not to mention that losing weight may also help prevent gout. However, people who eat healthily and abstain from alcohol can suffer from gout.

Gout Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for gout, including:

  • Men produce more uric acid, although uric acid production increases for women after menopause
  • Family history of gout
  • Eating a diet of high-purine foods
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chronic exposure to lead
  • Medications some diuretics and drugs containing salicylate
  • Obesity
  • Renal insufficiency or other problems with the kidneys
Foot problems

Foot problems

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Youmemindbody

Other Types of Foot Problems

There are many other common problems with the feet.

Athlete’s feet causes an itchy, stinging, burning sensation, which is contagious. It is caused by a fungus, typically found in wet environments. There are numerous over-the-counter treatments.

Bunions are a bump on the side of the big toe, which can make walking painful. Over-the-counter treatments include bunion pads or cushions. Ice may help.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament becomes strained due to poor footwear, which occurs more frequently with obesity. Wear supportive shoes. Another condition, a bruise (metatarsalgia) on the ball of the foot can also occur with poor-fitting shoes.

Corns or round circles of thickened skin on your toes or the sole of your foot can be treated with over-the-counter treatments and it can be filed with a pumice stone.

Heel spurs (bony protrusion) on the heel of the foot are a calcium deposit. Heel spurs can be treated with custom-made orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections.

Plantar warts on the bottom of the foot will go away over time, but if it is painful there are a variety of treatments.

There are a variety of ailments that may happen to your foot. Diabetic patients have to be particularly careful to treat any problem as soon as it occurs. Most foot problems have simple over-the-counter treatments. Gout can be more serious if left untreated. A patient who has more than three gout flare-ups in a year will probably have to visit the emergency room for treatment. Untreated gout will do permanent damage over time.

It is important to take care of your feet. Keep your toenails trimmed also and treat any problem quickly.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 01, 2020:

Hi Adrienne,

I'm gad this article was informative for you. Gout is extremely painful, usuallly in the big toe. It doesn't sound like your mother's symptoms fit this disease, but I am not a doctor. It never hurts to ask the doctor.

I appreciate your comments. Safe safe healthy.

Adrienne Farricelli on December 01, 2020:

I always thought that gout occurred in the throat area causing a visible swelling, so I learned something new today. My mom is diabetic and occasionally gets cold feet, but lately she has been mentioning about her feet feeling very warm. We always thought of it being neuropathy, but now I wonder if it can be gout. Perhaps she should discuss this possibility with her doctor next time.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 30, 2020:

Hi Linda,

It is a miserable disorder. Thsnk you for commenting. Hve a great week, Linda.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 29, 2020:

Gout sounds and looks like a very unpleasant problem. Thanks for sharing the information about the disorder, Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 29, 2020:

Hi Sp,

I have had patients who had gout when I was working as a nurse and they were miserable. There are things they can do. Thank you very much for your comments.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on November 29, 2020:

This is really informative. I have heard of Gout before but no one I know ever had it. It looks like one of those conditions that is really painful and horrible to get. At least there are things that people can do to reduce it impacting their life.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 29, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

I think I found the worse possible pictures. :) I appreciate your comments. Have a good week.

manatita44 from london on November 29, 2020:

Another beautiful educational piece, Pamela. Great photos!The foot looks really nasty and yes, it can affect the kidneys. Excellent piece! - Lantern

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 29, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I am a retired RN, but I do research for my articles.

Thank you for your very nice comments.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 29, 2020:

Pamela99 informative and I think your hubs are in detail you write from thorough research and experience. Your knowledge is vast and so interesting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 29, 2020:

Hi Flourish,

The research mentioned seafood and poultry also, but I wondered if it was more about the quantity. I honestly am not sure.

I can't imagine choosing feet for your chosen profession but thank goodness some do. I appreciate your comments. Have a great day!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 29, 2020:

Hi John,

I hope you never get it again. Thank you for your comments. Have a great day!

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 28, 2020:

This was great information. My grandmother had gout. I am wondering about those high purine foods to avoid (lunch meat, sausage?). I have to give a nod to medical professionals who specialize in feet. Next to below the belt type docs I can’t think of a nastier thing. Just yuck.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 28, 2020:

Gout certainly is painful. It is so hard to even sleep because of the pain. had it once years ago in the ankle and top of the foot. Thankfully, I never suffered with it again (touch wood.) a very informative and useful article, Pamela. Thanks.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi JC,

Your comment are always appreciated. Have a great week.

JC Scull on November 28, 2020:

Excellent article Pamela.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi MG,

I am glad that the article provided good information for you. Taking care of our feet is important.

Thank taking time to read and comment. Have a good week, MG.

MG Singh from UAE on November 28, 2020:

Pamela, you have written a wonderful article about a problem which many do not give any importance. I also neglect sometimes a problem with my feet your article was an eye opener.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Linda,

Being good to your feet is a good plan. It seems most any foot problem is painful. I appreciate your comments. I hope you had a ncie Thanksgiving and have a good weekend.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 28, 2020:

Interesting, and thankfully I don't have any of these issues but my husband has had plantar f. and it was very painful for him. I try to be good to my feet, and so they are good to me.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Ankita,

I am glad you found the article interesting. I appreciate your comments. I hope you are having a nice weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

When you have any foot problem walking will at the least be uncomfortable. Gout can be very painful too. Thanks for commenting. I hope you are having a nice weekend and have a good week.

Ankita B on November 28, 2020:

It was interesting to read about the facts and the risk factors associated with gout. Greatly informative and helpful.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 28, 2020:

My dad, at one time, suffered from gout. As you mentioned, it can be very painful. Having any kind of foot problem is no fun.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Chitrqngada,

It can be managed, but it does damage if it happens often. I am glad you found the article to be informative. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Cheryl,

I have seen people with gout as a nurse, and they were always in a lot of pain. I hope your husband does not get it again. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I am glad you are so healthy, Bill. Thanksgiving was small this year with just one son and his wife, but it was so much more enjoyable. Very calm with good food!

I hope your Thanksgiving was good also. Thanks so much for your comments as they are always appreciated. Blessings to you also.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 28, 2020:

A very important and informative article about gout. I understand that it’s very painful. Perhaps, taking note of the risk factors might help. I believe, it can be managed and not cured.

Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 28, 2020:

My husband had gout once and it was very painful.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 28, 2020:

Every health article you write reminds me of how blessed and lucky I am. Great information, my friend.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Blessings to you always.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Eric,

I am glad you found this article informative. I appreciate your comments, and I hope your pain goes away. Have a nice weekend.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 28, 2020:

Really informative. So far so good. It would really change my life if I could not walk without pain. Thanks much I will stay on top of this problem.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Yes, there can be several causes of gout. I like your last couple of comment as it is so true. Have a good weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

I'm glad you have no problems with your feet. Thank you for your comments. Have a nice weekend.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 28, 2020:

Hi Liz,

I am glad this article was informative for you. I saw patients with gout several times in my nursing career, and it is painful.

I appreciate your comments. Have a nice weekend, Liz.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on November 28, 2020:

Hi Pam. My brother-in-law suffers from gout and it clearly can be very painful. I always thought it was strictly diet related but clearly there are other factors.

Our feet are so important to our mobility and we really need to be aware of any problems and deal with them promptly. Great job.

Rosina S Khan on November 28, 2020:

I always take care of my feet and keep my toenails trimmed. Thanks for writing this important article, Pamela, to bring awareness to the disease called gout. Appreciated.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 28, 2020:

This is a helpful and informative article. My father suffered from gout. I was interested to see that he would have also ticked the box for some of the associated health issues.

Related Articles