What is a Gout?
  • Gout is a common inflammatory condition that affects the joints
  • It most commonly affects the big toe joint, but can affect any joint

  • The affected joint becomes red, swollen and very painful
  • An attack of gout generally comes on very quickly
  • It generally affects one joint at a time
  • It mostly affects men and is rare in women until after menopause
  • Over time, the attacks of gout tend to become more frequent and more severe
  • High levels of uric acid lead to gout
  • Uric acid is a natural waste product produced by the breaking down and building up of food and body tissues
  • Levels can be high when extra uric acid is not disposed of through the kidneys into the urine
  • This results in crystals forming in and around the joint. These crystal set up the acute inflammation
  • Common causes of high uric acid levels are:
    - Obesity
    - High alcohol intake
    - Intake of foods high in purine (shellfish, anchovies, sardines, red meat, offal)
    - Kidney disease

  • In the acute stages anti-inflammatory drugs are an effective to control symptoms. They do not however lower uric acid levels
  • Dietary changes and weight loss can help lower uric acid levels
  • If needed, prescription drugs can used to lower uric acid levels
  • Your Podiatrist can help with footwear advice and ways to help offload painful joints