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Ask Dr. Gott 9/27
Foot pain needs further study
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I need your opinion. I'm 68 and in good health. I got up one morning to find pain in my right foot. It feels like I'm walking on a bruise. It doesn't hurt when I push on it with my hand, only when I walk on it. At times it will be completely fine and then spontaneously start to hurt. Sometimes the foot aches.
    What would your opinion be? I am not eager to go to the doctor, and I'm not a good pill-taker.
    DEAR READER: Acute foot pain is a common consequence of gout. Of course, there are other causes as well, including arthritis, tendon inflammation and other disorders.
    Although I respect your reluctance to seek medical attention, I believe that your primary care physician is, at this point, a reasonable option. He or she can examine you, and — I hope — order a uric acid blood test for gout.
    While you're awaiting your appointment — and here is where I shock people — try cherries (fresh, canned or dried) rather than over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Cherries have been reported to cure gout attacks and prevent recurrences.
    If you don't respond to cherry therapy, your PCP would be happy, I'm sure, to prescribe treatment. Keep me posted.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "About Gout".

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am 82 years old, in good health and active, but I have a weird problem that happens after going to bed for the night. This has been going on for a long time and never happens during the day.
    On my upper right leg, near the groin, it feels like a small bubble near the pressure point of the artery that continues to inflate and then release. This goes on for about an hour but does not continue during the rest of the time. It does cause some discomfort.
    I was wondering if you have heard of cases like this and what could be done for it.
    DEAR READER: I have not had the opportunity to see cases such as yours, and I cannot make a judgment based on the sparse data you supply.
    Because arterial blockages can sometimes be associated with pulsations, I suggest that you be examined by your family physician, who may choose to order a vascular study of your leg. Also, I welcome letters from other readers who have suffered from similar symptoms.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Blood — Donations and Disorders."
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