Often Misdiagnosed in Women, Gout Can be a Painful Wake-up Call

Often Misdiagnosed in Women, Gout Can be a Painful Wake-up Call

 

The first time it happened to Kathleen Sundbye three years ago, she said it felt like a burning, pins-and-needles sensation in the little toe of her right foot that lasted for two weeks.

"The pain was unbearable and seemed to come from the inside out, so I thought that maybe I had a piece of glass lodged in my toe," the 63-year-old Monroe Township resident and retired social worker said. "One night at 2 a.m., the pain was so bad that I went to the emergency room — I literally wanted to cut my foot off."

Despite a series of ultrasounds, pain medications, cortisone treatments, and anti-inflammatories as well as visits to a string of different specialists who tested her unsuccessfully for such conditions as neuropathy and bursitis, the symptoms continued to come and go randomly, she said.

"The attacks would be sudden and dramatic, like an explosion, and always occurred in the same place, but there was never any discoloration of the skin on the outside, so it was very hard to understand," she said.

After a visit to a podiatrist this past January, however, Sundbye's condition became clear. Read More

Susan Bloom | For The Star-Ledger May 28, 2015