The condition mainly affects men over 30 and women after menopause. In general, gout is more common in men than in women. Gout can be extremely painful and debilitating, but treatments are available to help ease symptoms and prevent new attacks. Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia, in which there is too much uric acid in the body.
Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are found in the body and in the food you eat. When there is too much uric acid in the body, uric acid crystals (monosodium urate) can build up in joints, fluids, and body tissues. Hyperuricemia doesn't always cause gout, and hyperuricemia without symptoms of gout doesn't need treatment. Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can come and go.
Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. It causes sudden, intense attacks of joint pain, often on the big toe and at night. It can also affect the joints of other toes, ankle, or knee. People with finger osteoarthritis may experience their first gout attack on the finger joints.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that results from too much uric acid in the blood. Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines that are part of many foods we eat. An abnormality in the management of uric acid and the crystallization of these compounds in the joints can cause painful arthritis attacks, kidney stones and the blockage of the tubules that filter the kidneys with uric acid crystals, leading to kidney failure.
Gout has the unique distinction of being one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses in history. Many people avoid outbreaks of gout and can reduce the severity of their symptoms, and may even stop having gout. Maintaining adequate fluid intake helps prevent acute gout attacks and reduces the risk of kidney stones formation in people with gout. Find more detailed information about gout in the articles and other content below, or find a doctor at the HSS who treats gout.