Toe Gout

Toe Gout Overview

Toe GoutToe gout is a medical condition affecting the feet commonly recognized by repeated cases of acute toe tendon inflammation. The most common area affected is the joint at the base of the big toe and is known as podraga (when involving the big toe). Gout is actually a kind of toe arthritis and it typically only effects one joint in a person, even if repeatedly.


Toe Gout Causes

The cause of the inflammation is unnaturally high level of uric acid being circulated in the body which eventually crystallize and settle into joints, tendons and tissues. Toes are not the only areas affect by gout, often knees and hips can accumulate crystals as well.

If you’re dealing with gout it could be because your body produces an excess of uric acid or has trouble eliminating it from your system. The surplus uric acid builds up within the synovial fluid surrounding joints (usually one joint in particular) and causes inflammation.

Although the exact cause of gout is unknown, people who’s family member have gout generally have a higher risk. Men are also more likely than woman to be diagnosed with gout. Gout has also been linked with drinking alcohol, eating too much meat, seafood or fructose or taken certain medications. Additionally, the frequency of gout has been increasing as we live longer lifestyles. People with kidney and blood diseases or diabetes or cancer are also more likely to develop toe gout.


Toe Gout Symptoms

Toe gout symptoms tend to arise very suddenly. The sensation of a gout attack often feels as if the toe is being crushed or throbbing extremely painfully. A fever might also accompany the attack as well a other minor symptoms such as sweating and heavy breathing.

The toe joint in question will feel warm and may possibly be red. Any external touch to it, no matter how light, will often hurt. The toe will be tender and sensitive to any movement. The person experiencing the attack might also feel fatigue or even a low temperature.

The pain can last anywhere from hours to days. The first “gouty attack” often leaves no symptoms and can be forgotten after the pain goes away. Sometimes people can go for years without attacks. Certain tests can be done to check if a person has gout, these include: Synovial fluid analysis, uric acid blood test, toe joint x-ray, uric acid content of urine.


Toe Gout Treatment

There is no home remedy for toe gout. The best thing to do at home is to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include ibuprofen or naproxen. At the first sign of symptoms, taking these medications will help reduce some of the pain. Be prepared to take the drugs for a number of days until the attack subsides.

If the toe pain is particularly bad, your doctor may provide stronger pain killers such as codeine or oxycodone. Another prescription medication known as colchicine can also help reduce the inflammation and some of the pain in the toe joint. In even stronger cases your doctor may inject the toe joint with steroids to alleviate the joint pain.

If the attacks are occurring more than once a year, you’ll likely be prescribed medications for toe gout relief. These are usually allopurinol or probenecid which both work to lower the amount of uric acid in your blood.

Additionally you can start making some lifestyle changes that could help reduce or eliminate some of the toe gout attacks. Avoiding alcohol, red meat ans seafood is a good place to start. Reducing meal portion sizes as well as foods high in fructose can also help. Making sure you’re eating enough carbohydrates can also help reduce the chance of toe gout inflammation.


Toe Gout Summary

Not enough is known about gout in toes or even in other areas of the body to prevent it from occurring. Your best bet is to aim for a healthy lifestyle taking everything in moderation (mean alcohol, red meat and seafood in particular).

Doctor’s check ups and blood tests can help you to know if your uric acid levels are on the rise. If you’ve had a case of toe gout in your family, talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to prevent toe gout from affecting you.

2 Responses to Toe Gout Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

  • Angela says:

    Hi, I was playing soccer with non soccer shoes, just some tight fitting canvas shoes, when I kicked the ball with my toes by accident really hard. The pain started 30 mins on my right big toe after I kicked the ball. I have the exact symptoms, but not the same causes. I have no idea what’s wrong with my toe. I’m so confused!


    • Toe Doc says:

      Hi Angela,

      It’s likely you’ve either sprained the toe, or may have turf toe depending on the severity of the pain. It’s also possible that you have just jammed the toe. If the pain subsides and the toe returns to normal in the next 48 hours you should have nothing to worry about, but if it persists for more than there days and the symptoms don’t appear to be improving at all it’s important to seek the advice of a medical professional or podiatrist to get a closer examination. It’s highly unlikely you have toe gout as gout usually occurs after many years or decades and isn’t brought on by something such as kicking a soccer ball. I hope this answers your other question as well!


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