Denville Foot & Ankle

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What Happens When Gout Goes Untreated?

Gout is a type of arthritis that can cause severe pain in the joints. It is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, which can form crystals in the joints. Symptoms of gout include swelling, redness, stiffness in the joint, and intense pain.

Gout is most commonly found in the big toe, but it can affect any joint in the body. While there are several ways to treat gout, including medications and lifestyle changes, it can cause more serious health problems if it is left untreated.

Conditions that can be linked to untreated gout include:

  • Joint damage and deformities

  • Loss of mobility

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Kidney stones

  • Diabetes

  • Stress and anxiety


Gout and the Kidneys

When it comes to gout and its effect on our kidney, the influencing factor is uric acid. Our kidneys are vital organs that also play a role in removing toxins from the body, regulating blood pressure, and producing hormones that help control blood sugar levels. They are also responsible for processing uric acid in the body and as we age, this process slows down.

Because gout is caused by excess amounts of uric acid in the body, it can put a lot of pressure on the kidneys and potentially lead to kidney disease. As for kidney stones, the condition is common in gout patients and caused by a buildup of urate crystals in the urinary tract.

If you think you may have kidney disease or kidney stones, here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Kidney Disease: Fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, or swelling in your feet and ankles.

  • Kidney Stones: Severe pain in the side, pain when urinating, and discolored urine.

For those struggling with gout, it is especially important to monitor the kidneys regularly and ensure they are functioning properly.


Gout and Diabetes

Although research is still needed to further understand the link between gout and diabetes, some studies have been conducted to explore the connection. Results of such studies have showed that those who are overweight are more likely to suffer from both gout and diabetes.


Gout and Mental Health

Although gout is known for its physical effects on the body, it can also have a significant impact on an individual’s mental health. Anxiety, stress, and depression, for example, can be linked to gout when things like work, walking, and normal sleep patterns are negatively affected. For these reasons, it is always recommended to seek treatment for both physical and mental health concerns.


How to Treat Gout

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are several different approaches your podiatrist can take to treat gout. If your symptoms have not progressed too far and can be slowed by simple lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend a new dietary plan or that you limit/avoid all alcohol consumption.

For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove gouty deposits and tophi masses before they can invade surrounding tissues. Lastly, in cases when the joint is extremely damaged or unstable, joint replacement or fusion may be necessary to reduce pain.


Treat Gout Today at Denville Foot & Ankle!

If you think you have gout and are looking for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.