Gout is a disease caused by an excess of uric acid – either your body is producing too much, or your body is having a problem removing it – that causes painful, hot, and swollen joints. Uric acid is a waste product made by the body that is thought to buildup because of diets high in meat and fish that contain purines and too much alcohol. The joints affected by gout are primarily in the big toe of the foot, and the condition predominantly affects men and individuals who are overweight. Other locations where gout may occur are the middle of the foot and the ankle joint. Many times, gout attacks occur at night.
Gout can occur as an isolated incident or it can be a chronic problem. Symptoms of gout include:
Gout attacks can occur repeatedly, and if left untreated, can harm joints, tendons, and other tissues. Some ways to reduce symptoms are: