Overview

What is Gout?

In gout, monosodium urate crystals are deposited in tissue, where there is too much uric acid in the body. The body makes uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in your body and the foods you eat, causing inflammation and severe pain of relatively rapid onset, usually in a single joint.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Gout?

The signs and symptoms of Gout include:

Pain in a single joint, often at the base of the great toe, but can be in other joints of  the feet, fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles

Pain in a single joint, often at the base of the great toe, but can be in other joints of the feet, fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles

"Exquisite" pain and tenderness

"Exquisite" pain and tenderness

Swelling, heat, and stiffness of joint

Swelling, heat, and stiffness of joint

Shiny red or purple coloration of joint

Shiny red or purple coloration of joint

Fever up to 39°C (102.2°F) with or without chills Begins in hours and may subside  over a few days or up to three weeks

Fever up to 39°C (102.2°F) with or without chills Begins in hours and may subside over a few days or up to three weeks

Untreated, attacks will be more frequent and more severe

Untreated, attacks will be more frequent and more severe

Causes

What are the causes of Gout?

The exact cause of Gout is unknown but the following factors play an important role:

Age - middle-aged man or postmenopausal woman

Age - middle-aged man or postmenopausal woman

Family history

Family history

Alcohol

Alcohol

Medications such as diuretics and cyclosporine

Medications such as diuretics and cyclosporine

Conditions like high blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea

Conditions like high blood pressure, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, or sleep apnea

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Gout?

To diagnose Gout, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history, perform a physical exam.

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who are specialised in treating Gout