What Are the Symptoms of Foot Gout?

February 12th, 2016

Foot gout, one of the most painful types of arthritis, often starts in the big toe but spreads to other joints in the foot and body. This condition is brought on by elevated uric acid levels, which form hard crystals in the joints. You are more likely to get foot gout if you:

  • Have a family history of gout.
  • Are a man aged 30-50.
  • Are a post-menopausal woman.
  • Have recently had surgery.

Without treatment the pain from foot gout can worsen and permanently damage joints.


Attacks of gout normally occur at night, with pain severe enough to wake sufferers from sleep. The symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Sharp pain in the big toe.

The first attack will be very painful for the first 4-12 hours and gradually subside. Some Plano patients have joint discomfort that can last up to a few weeks and limit their range of motion.

Treatment for Foot Gout

If you have an attack of foot gout, you can manage the pain with a few simple treatments before seeing your doctor. Pain from swelling in the joints can be helped by:

  • Resting during an attack of gout.
  • Applying ice to reduce swelling.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication.

While home care can help at first, you will need to see a podiatrist to diagnose foot gout and prescribe treatment.

Preventing Future Attacks

If caught early, your podiatrist can advise you on lifestyle changes to lower levels of uric acid in your body. Limiting the following may be enough to resolve problems with gout:

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Alcohol
  • Drinks sweetened with fructose

Proper diet combined with exercise will resolve most patients’ problems with gout within a few weeks or months. However, patients who have other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart or kidney disease are more likely to experience trouble and require medication to manage their gout.

If you experience painful foot gout, call our Plano office at 214-385-8822.