Diagnosing the cause of a swollen foot is not as straight forward as popularly believed and what was originally considered a temporary issue could in fact be one of the primary symptoms of gout or pseudogout. Although a swelling of the foot can result from physical trauma, infection or any number of bodily disorders, with over five million sufferers of gout in the US alone, gout should be considered as a possible solution where localized swelling is not evident. Physical injuries will typically swell only one area of the foot, while severe pain and uniform swelling characterize gout, where gritty deposits (not unlike sand to the touch) can be felt under the skin, including redness and heat. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and before treatment is performed for your painful foot, some diagnostic tests will be necessary. These tests can be as simple as a blood test looking for elevated uric acid levels.
What is pseudogout?
Pseudogout is a classification of swelling of joints (arthritis) that is brought about by a buildup of crystals, known as calcium pyrophosphate, around the joints. Pseudogout literally signifies "fake gout." A swollen foot or knee is commonly the first symptom.But this pain can simply swap feet and knees at any time, and it is really difficult to actually define that it is not a gouty attack but pseudogout.
Pseudogout shares many characteristics with true gout that also can bring about arthritis. However, the crystal that that causes the swollen foot is monosodium urate. The crystals that cause pseudogout and gout arthritis each look similar, even when checked under a microscope. This key fact makes it viable to exactly diagnose the leading cause of the swollen foot when joint fluid is accessible.
Pseudogout has been documented to sometimes exist together with gout. This indicates that the two sorts of deposits can occasionally be stumbled on in the very same swollen foot. Experts have also noticed that the cartilage material of sufferers who had both types of crystals in their joint fluid was often noticeably calcified, as observed on x-ray results.
How does a physician identify pseudogout?
Pseudogout is implied when irregular calcifications are observed in the normal cartilage of joints on x-ray evaluation. These anomalies are commonly known as chondrocalcinosis. The joint disease of pseudogout is fairly typical in senior adults, especially in the circumstance of dehydration such as happens with hospitalization or surgical treatment. The identification of pseudogout is essentially established when fluid from a joint such as swelling of the feet is tested under a specialized microscope known as a polarizing microscope. With this magnifier, the calcium pyrophosphate deposits are revealed.
What is gout?
Gout is an illness that is caused by an excess of uric acid in the blood stream which leads to the creation of small deposits of urate that lodge in regions of the body, especially the joints, commonly presenting as a swollen foot or knee. When deposits develop in the predisposed joints, it causes repeated symptoms of joint swelling (arthritis). Gout is widely seen as a prolonged and developing disease. Chronic gout can also result in buildup of rigid piles of uric acid in the tissues, especially in and around the joints that can cause joint deterioration, diminished kidney function, and other ailments.
Gout has the particular significance of being among the most habitually documented medical diseases in all areas of history. It is often associated to a hereditary irregularity in the body's potential to manage uric acid. Uric acid is a result of purines that are a component of many foods we happen to eat. A problem in coping with uric acid can cause symptoms of irritating arthritis (gout episode), kidney stones, and lead to renal failure.
Alternatively, some individuals may develop amplified blood uric acid values (hyperuricemia) with no gout symptoms, such as arthritis or kidney difficulties. The condition of amplified amounts of uric acid within the blood with no disorders is known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia and is seen as a predecessor state to the further advancement of gout. The term gout arthritis refers to the illness that is certainly triggered by an excess of uric acid in the person, producing agonizing arthritic symptoms and build up of piles of uric acid crystals in body areas, presenting with a swollen foot or knee.
Gouty arthritis is usually a very distressing attack along with a swift onset of joint swelling. The swollen foot or knee is brought on by buildup of uric acid deposits in the joint fluid and lining. Extreme joint swelling happens as the immune mechanism responds, forcing white blood cells to envelop the uric acid crystals, causing a swollen foot or knee, and leading to soreness, hotness, and inflammation of the joint tissues. As gout advances, the symptoms of gouty arthritis largely happen more often and quite often in new joints.
Who is impacted by gout?
Around five million people in the USA are afflicted with gout. Gout is nine times more established in males when compared to females. It principally attacks men after the age of puberty, with a maximum age of 75. In women, gout conditions usually manifest soon after menopause.