Got Gout?

Photograph of large dinning table set for Christmas dinner

Holiday season triggers painful toes in the four-state area

Got gout? If so, a Joplin foot and ankle surgeon has a recommendation for surviving the holidays: Watch what you eat and drink.

Changes in diet, including overindulging in certain foods and beverages, can cause gout attacks this time of year, says Shelly D. Sedberry, MS, DPM. Sedberry is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) with an office, Shoal Creek Foot & Ankle Center, in Joplin, MO.

Gout attacks are extremely painful. They are caused when uric acid accumulates in the tissues or a joint and crystallizes. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint. Sedberry explains this is because the toe is the coolest part of the body and uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes.

She says foods that are high in purines contribute to uric acid build-up. She recommends that people prone to gout attacks avoid purine-rich items such as shellfish (shrimp, crab, etc.), organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red meat, red wine and beer.

Gout can be treated with medications, diet changes, increasing consumption of appropriate fluids, and immobilizing the foot. In some cases, surgery is required to remove the uric acid crystals and repair the joint. For more information on gout, visit the ACFAS consumer website, or contact Shoal Creek Foot & Ankle Center at (417) 622-0648.

Dr. Sedberry specializes in surgical and non-surgical treatments of conditions of the foot and ankle, including sports medicine, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, diabetic foot conditions, and trauma. Shoal Creek Foot & Ankle Center is located at 1801 West 32 Street, Building C, Suite102, and online at To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sedberry, call (417) 622-0648.


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