Gout

Gout is a group of disorders of purine metabolism, which are characterised by sudden and severe attacks of pain, tenderness, hotness and redness in the joints, mainly the big toe, ankle, knee and small joints of the hands, feet, wrist or elbow.

What is Gout?

Gout is a group of disorders of purine metabolism, which are characterised by sudden and severe attacks of pain, tenderness, hotness and redness in the joints, mainly the big toe, ankle, knee and small joints of the hands, feet, wrist or elbow. Classic attacks start during the night.

A gout attack occurs when urate crystals build up in the joint causing inflammation and intense pain. Urate crystals form when there are high levels of uric acid in the blood. Normally the uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys and into the urine, however when the body produces excess uric acid it can build up forming crystals in the joints and surrounding tissue which causes inflammation and swelling and overall pain.

Gout is often associated with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arteriosclerosis. If you are overweight or obese the body produces additional uric acid which the kidneys have difficulty eliminating and therefore the risk of developing gout is greatly increased.