What is causing the severe pain in my big toe? As it turns out, it could be all of that turkey – and more!
Pull out the stretchy pants; it’s almost time for Thanksgiving dinner! Just like many other families in Wappingers Falls, my family will have a traditional meal that includes turkey, dressing, gravy, and lots of cranberries.
My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is that we have an early “dinner” so that we can snack all day long and enjoy family and friends as they come and go. Every year brings new memories that can be cherished for years to come…for most people.
For others, the night after Thanksgiving ruins the whole holiday. It starts when you are suddenly awakened with a severe pain in your big toe. The bed sheet that is covering your foot feels like a hot branding iron, and when you pull it off, you see that your toe is red, swollen, and feels very warm to the touch. The pain is so excruciating that you can’t fall back asleep, and of course, that is all you can think about.
When certain foods like turkey, gravy, and even alcohol are broken down in your body, one of the end products is called uric acid. People with an inherited risk, diabetes, or those who are obese are more likely to have a problem with an increased level of uric acid, especially after Thanksgiving dinner. When this happens, you get a condition known as gout.
Some people only have one gout attack and others will have multiple attacks throughout their lives. There are different treatments involved depending on when the attack happened, how many attacks you have had, and any other medical conditions you may have.
You might wonder, “Who do I go to for a gout attack in my big toe?”
Usually, when a patient visits our office with painful gout, they feel significant relief by the next day. If you think you are having a gout attack, you will want to make an appointment as soon as possible. We do have emergency same day appointments for people who are experiencing these symptoms.
Until your appointment, here are a few things you can do to try and decrease the pain as much as possible:
- Keep your foot elevated
- Don’t put any weight on your foot
- Keep the joint as still as possible
- DO NOT ice or apply heat to the joint
All of us at Hollowbrook Foot Specialists would like to wish everyone in the Hudson Valley a very Happy Thanksgiving!