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Gout is a very painful inflammatory arthritis that causes big toe joint pain in approximately 50% of the cases. Although it can affect other joints it is typically seen in the toe or other parts of the foot or ankle. Men are affected by it much more than women, although women are more susceptible after menopause. This painful condition is caused by a build up of uric acid in the joints.
Uric acid is created when the body breaks down purines. In most healthy people this is filtered out of the body through the kidneys with no problems. In people who suffer from gout, the body does not properly filter the purines which in turn creates sharp crystals that then form around the affected joint causing big toe joint pain.
The big toe joint pain affiliated with gout is described as being one of the most intense pains known to man. This condition usually forms over night and the sufferer becomes aware of it when he or she attempts to step out of bed. Not only is the joint painful but it is red, swollen and often very hot to the touch. The pressure of a sock, shoe and even a bed sheet is sometimes unbearable.
Who suffers from gout? As stated earlier males suffer more than females, and they are often overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and drink alcohol. They often eat foods that have high concentrations of purines. Examples of these foods would be sardines, salmon, herring and liver. Certain medications can also cause gout. Once someone suffers from an attack they are more likely to have another attack in the future. The duration of a gout attack without treatment can last from a few days to weeks. Recurrent attacks can cause deformity of the affected joint as well as continuous toe joint pain. There are medications that can be prescribed to help reduce the amount of purines in the body.
Other treatments that can assist with big toe joint pain and gout is the application of heat or ice, and over the counter aspirin or ibuprofen. Not drinking alcohol and losing weight will help to reduce further attacks, as will ensuring that your cholesterol levels are kept in check. I also recommend www.CureYourGout.com. This wonderful book has helped thousands of gout sufferers using natural methods to combat this sometimes debilitating medical condition.
As severe as the big toe joint pain is that gout can produce, you need to take action to ensure that you do not have repeat episodes.