Same Day Gout Treatment in Seattle

Just call our office at 206 344 3808 and we will help you with your gout the same day.  You can also schedule appointments online on our patient portal, but same day appointments are not always available online.

Video: Best Treatments for Gout Pain

What is gout and why does it hurt so much?

Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by having too much uric acid in the joints. Uric acid is a substance that forms when your body breaks down a substance called purines. Uric acid usually dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. In people with gout, uric acid builds up and forms sharp crystals that can collect around the joints This causes pain and swelling in the affected joints – often the big toe joint and the top of the foot. The pain can be very intense and can occur suddenly for no apparent reason.  The affected joint becomes red, feels hot and hurts a lot. It will be more painful if you touch it. Gout can affect other joints in your body but it is most prevalent in the foot.

Foot and Ankle Joints Are Most Commonly Affected by Gout

Gout affects the joints of the foot and ankle more than other parts of the body primarily because the foot is the coolest part of the body and the gout crystals are most often deposited in cooler areas. It is often thought that only the big toe joints are affected by gout, but that is not true. It is the most likely to be affected, but all of the joints of the foot and ankle are common areas for gout attacks. The most common joints to be affected include:

  • Big toe joint
  • Joints on top of the foot
  • Ankle joint

What should I do if I have a gout attack?

Call us immediately. Tell our receptionist that you have a red, hot big toe joint (or other joint) and she will get you in right away. In the meantime, you should rest and not walk if you can avoid it. Putting a hot pad or an ice pack on the joint may ease the pain. Avoid any pressure on the foot – even the weight of sheets can be painful. Medicines that you can take without a prescription that reduce inflammation, such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help.

When you come to the office we will evaluate your foot to determine if the problem is gout or some other problem (such as an infection). We may have a blood draw done to check for infection and also to check the level of uric acid in your blood. Once we are confident the problem is gout we will prescribe medication that usually relieves the pain fairly rapidly – it will usually resolve completely within a few days. We will also provide treatment to limit the pain while you wait for the medicine to take effect.

What if I don’t get gout treatment?

If you don’t get treatment, a gout attack can last for days or even weeks. If you keep having more attacks, more joints will be affected, and the attacks will last longer.

If you have gout attacks for many years, you may develop soft tissue swellings of uric acid crystals called tophi in your joints. Tophi usually form on the toes, fingers, hands and elbows. You may also get kidney disease or kidney stones. Over time, the bone around a joint may be destroyed by gout.

Who can get gout?

Gout is most common in people who are overweight, drink alcohol or have high cholesterol. Men have gout more often than women do, although women are more likely to have gout after menopause. In addition, some people who eat foods that contain a lot of purines are prone to gout attacks. Some of these foods are beer, red wine, red meat, shellfish, salmon, sardines, liver and herring.

Some medicines can also make gout more likely. These include:

  • certain diuretics (“water pills”)
  • niacin (a B-complex vitamin)
  • aspirin (taken in low doses)
  • cyclosporine (brand names: Sandimmune, Neoral, SangCya)
  • some drugs used to treat cancer

What can I do to avoid gout attacks?

Once we have taken care of your current pain, we will likely refer you to your primary care physician. He or she may prescribe medicines to prevent future gout attacks. These medicines can wash the uric acid from your joints, reduce swelling and keep uric acid from forming.

If you are overweight, lose the weight. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, get treatment and follow a low-salt, low-fat diet. Stay away from alcohol and foods that are high in purines. Drink lots of water. It can help flush uric acid from your body.

Diet and Gout

Gout can play a large role in the cause and prevention of gout attacks. Every person who has had gout should consult with their primary care physician and a registered dietitian. If you don’t have a primary care physician we can provide recommendations.

Should you see a registered dietitian or a nutritionist?

We suggest you see a Registered Dietitian.  “Nutritionist” is a not a very well defined  title that can be used by many people with various forms of training, A registered dietitian, on the other hand, has at minimum a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field and has gone through an internship where they train in a health care facility.  They must then pass a certifying examination before they can obtain a license as a registered dietitian. We have listed below registered dietitians to whom we often refer.

Will insurance cover diet and nutrition counseling?

Most insurance companies cover individual nutritional counseling.  For those without medical insurance, many of the RDs listed below have payment plans and sliding scales.

Seattle Area Registered Dietitians

Seattle Dietitians: We are looking for more registered dietitians to add to our referral list.  We like to meet first to discuss patient care. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Larry Huppin so we can set up a time to meet

Call us immediately in our Seattle office if you think you might be having a gout attack affecting the foot. Let our receptionist know the problem. We want to see patients with gout right away so that we can help eliminate the pain

Video: Understanding Gout