A Quick Guide to Gout

While many people may be unfamiliar with gout and its symptoms, more than 8 million Americans (roughly 3.9% of the US population) have been diagnosed with this type of inflammatory arthritis. Gout develops from a build-up of uric acid, which is produced by your body when it breaks down purines — substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods and alcoholic beverages (especially beer).

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© Healthwise

Other factors that increase uric acid levels:

  • Obesity
  • Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease(s).
  • Medications for high blood pressure, aspirin
  • Genetics

Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine, but sometimes, your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little. When this occurs, the uric acid in your blood builds up and forms sharp crystals in your joint(s), causing severe pain, inflammation and swelling.

If you experience any form of sudden pain in your foot or ankle, call your podiatrist as soon as possible to obtain an accurate diagnosis. If left untreated, gout can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues, even if the pain has temporarily subsided.

Once a diagnosis is confirmed through a physical examination, blood test, or fluid sample, your podiatrist will discuss a plan of treatment specifically for you. Treatments for gout generally include a prescription medication or injection to help treat the pain and inflammation, as well as lifestyle changes including dietary restrictions.

To learn more about gout or to make an appointment, please feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

Why Does My Foot Fall Asleep?

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Have you ever experienced the sensation of your foot falling asleep? It may have happened while you were watching TV or working on the computer, and when you went to stand up an hour later, you found that your foot was completely numb.  While many believe the “pins and needles” feeling occurs due to the lack of blood supply being sent to your foot, this experience is actually referred to as paresthesia, which occurs when too much pressure is placed on a nerve.

Causes of temporary paresthesia:

  • Sitting in the same position for long periods of time
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Sitting or lying in a way that restricts blood flow to the lower limbs

Symptoms of paresthesia:

  • Prickling
  • Tingling
  • Itching
  • Burning or cold skin

When you sit for long periods of time, your nerves (the tiny threads/wires that run throughout your body, carrying messages to the brain) are temporarily compressed and unable to send messages back and forth, thus temporarily disrupting the connection. As a result, your feet don’t feel anything.

As soon as you change your position, though, your nerves are no longer compressed and the feeling in your foot will slowly start to return. And while it’s important to remember that everyone experiences “sleepy feet” every once in a while, it shouldn’t happen often without reason. If you experience chronic paresthesia, it may be the result of an underlying neurological disease or traumatic nerve damage, and you should consult a podiatrist immediately to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Other issues that may cause paresthesia:

  • Neuropathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Radiculopathy
  • Disorders affecting the central nervous system
  • A tumor or vascular lesion

Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing, including paresthesia. Feel free to request an appointment on our website or call us at (248)348-5300.

Associated Podiatrists PC Celebrates National Foot Health Awareness Month

NATIONAL FOOT HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH (2)

Did you know that, contrary to popular belief, your feet are not supposed to hurt? It’s true! Foot disorders are among the most widespread and neglected issues affecting Americans today, and it’s estimated that more than 75% of the U.S. population will experience a foot problem at least once during their lives.

Therefore, in honor of April’s National Foot Health Awareness Month, our podiatrists at Associated Podiatrists P.C. have put together several tips for keeping your feet happy and healthy!

  • Keep your feet clean and dry – While bathing, thoroughly clean your feet and toes with soapy water, and be sure to fully dry them afterwards, as fungal organisms love moisture.
  • Inspect your feet daily – Be sure to check the bottom of your feet for injuries, cracks, peeling, or dry skin, especially if you’re diabetic, since cracks in the skin provide a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus.
  • Stop going places barefoot – Floors at home and public places are filled with bacteria, making you susceptible to fungal infections and/or plantar warts.
  • Wear proper footwear – No two feet are identical (even on the same person), therefore, it can be difficult to find proper fitting shoes. Since one foot is always slightly larger, Dr. Borovoy suggests shopping for shoes that fit the larger foot, as well as purchasing them at the end of the day, to compensate for any swelling that occurred during the day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Keeping up with a healthy diet and regular exercise is the key to keeping your feet in top form! Added weight puts pressure on the feet and leads to many common complaints such as foot or ankle pain.
  • Stretch – In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, it’s important to stretch your feet, ankles, and lower legs before exercising to prevent injury.
  • Don’t keep putting it off – If you’re suffering from any kind of foot or ankle injury, don’t hold off on seeing a podiatrist. Injuries left untreated can lead to poor healing, recurring pain, limited mobility, and development of other serious issues.

So, this April, remember the importance of good foot health and make sure to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists! A visit to a podiatrist for a general foot exam will help treat any existing problems, and help to prevent any future ones.

Associated Podiatrists P.C.
26750 Providence Pkwy
Suite 130
Novi, MI 48374
Phone: (248)348-5300
Fax: (248)348-5410

Remember, your feet tell a story and we are here to listen!

Recurring Toenail Fungus

A fungal infection of the toenails can be very difficult to treat for a variety of reasons, most notably the fact that the warm, moist, and dark environment inside your shoes is an ideal growing habitat for the tiny microorganisms responsible for this condition. The reduced blood flow to the feet can also be a factor by making it more difficult for your immune system to fight the infection.

If you have a toenail infection that never seems to completely clear up, there are some factors that may be contributing to the problem.

Possible Causes of Recurring Nail Infection

  • Repeated exposure to the fungi—It is important to make sure your shoes are not contaminated, and that you are not picking up the microbes from someone else through a shared shower or bathroom area.
  • Improper treatment—Since the infection is underneath the nail, it can be very hard to completely eradicate with over-the-counter treatments and home remedies. Symptoms may subside for a short time but then return.
  • Immune system issues—If you are taking a medication that weakens your ability to fight infections, or if you have a medical condition such as diabetes you are at a greater risk of repeat infections.

How to Prevent Repeat Toenail Infections

  • Use antifungal spray in your footwear.
  • Air out your shoes, and don’t wear the same shoes every day.
  • Make sure to wear shower shoes or flip flops in locker rooms, showers, and pool areas.
  • Talk to your podiatrist for more advanced treatments such as oral antifungal medications, laser nail therapy, or possible removal of the nail.

Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, of Associated Podiatrists, P.C. in Novi, MI are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with toenail fungus, or any other problems you may be experiencing with your feet. You can request an appointment on our website or feel free to call us at 248-348-5300.