When excess uric acid exists in the bloodstream, crystals can form that lie in the joints of the big toe. When this occurs, it can produce a painful condition known as gout. There are several symptoms that are associated with this ailment, which often include severe pain and discomfort, redness, or swelling. Some patients are more susceptible to gout attacks if diuretics are taken, which can treat high blood pressure, in addition to taking low-dose aspirin.
If episodes of gout are infrequent, avoiding them may be as simple as implementing healthy dietary changes. Foods that are high in purine levels can cause uric acid crystals to form in the joints, and it is beneficial to eliminate them from your diet. These foods include shellfish, red meat, and excessive alcohol. If the gout attacks become severe, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can recommend treatment, which may include medication.