Gout is another common cause of foot pain. A person that has this will complain of a sudden intense pain usually in the big toe that may be severe enough to awaken them from sleep. The joint will become swollen, hot, and difficult to move. Sometimes just the sheet touching it will cause unbearable pain.

It is caused by the buildup of a substance called uric acid. Uric acid is present in all of us and is formed by the breakdown of meats such as steak, liver, and seafood. Other foods also cause higher levels of uric acid, such as alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fructose. Normally the kidneys get rid of this extra substance, but in some people either the kidneys can get rid of enough of it or they make they make too much uric acid.

The result is the uric acid builds up and accumulates in a joint, such as the big toe and causes these attacks that cause severe pain.

Diagnosis of Gout

Gout is diagnosed with drainage of the joint and sending the fluid to a lab for evaluation. X-rays may be obtained to rule out other causes such as a stress fracture.

Treatment for Gout

Treatment for gout is usually with NSAIDs (medications like ibuprofen and naproxen), a medication named colchicine, and sometimes with a steroid.

Some people will have one gout attack and never have another. Some people will have a few of these attacks per year. If you fall into the latter category, there are medications that you doctor can start you on to reduce the attacks.