Gout is a very painful condition caused by the excess buildup of uric acid in the blood. When too much uric acid is present, it will drift downwards to the lower joints of the body including the feet and toes. When the uric acid settles into a joint it will begin to crystallize. This will cause the joint itself to become less mobile, swell and create a great deal of pain. For those who have gout in the big toe, this pain can be almost unbearable at times.
Attacks of gout in the big toe generally last from five to ten days as the crystallizing uric acid is broken apart and returns to the bloodstream. While attacks of gout in the big toe are not continuous, they can be quite frequent and result in a very debilitating condition. Treating gout in the big toe is not easy once the uric acid begins to crystallize, but there are methods to keep the excessive uric acid from building up in the first place.
Excessive uric acid in the bloodstream can have many causes. The consumption of too much alcohol is one of the more common ones. If you can find the cause, then taking corrective action immediately may reduce and even stop future attacks of gout in the big toe depending on the circumstances. The first step is to find a pattern to the attacks of gout and see if there is any connecting outside influence that could be the cause.
Unfortunately, gout in the big toe can have causes that are not normally associated with one outside influence such as alcohol consumption. In these cases, the best course of action is to start drinking more water on a daily basis. Drinking the recommended amounts of water each day helps to flush the excessive uric acid from your body. The kidneys have an easier time removing the uric acid from the bloodstream if more water is present. The excessive uric acid is then sent to the bladder where it is passed out of the body.
Eating a proper diet and maintaining a healthy weight are also important in combating the effects of gout in the big toe. Of course, even with taking all of these measures you may still suffer from the effects of gout. If this is the case, it is recommended that you see your physician for either prescribed treatment or using an effective natural herb remedy to keep the gout in the big toe from inflaming the joint.
Also, you can try topical treatments on the big toe itself to reduce the amount of pain. While applying heat will not affect the swelling and may in some circumstances cause the swelling to increase. Heat can help take the edge off the pain of gout in the big toe. Whatever course of action you take, be sure to consult with your doctor first. Finding the best means of preventing gout in the big toe uses a multiple approach of eliminating outside causes, drinking more water, eating a healthy diet and taking any course of action your physician recommends.