Causes and Symptoms of Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by sudden, severe joint pain and inflammation, typically affecting the big toe, although it can occur in other joints as well. Understanding the causes and symptoms of gout is essential for early diagnosis and effective management. Gout is primarily caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, a condition known as hyperuricemia. Uric acid crystals can accumulate in the joints, leading to painful gout attacks. Several factors can contribute to elevated uric acid levels, including genetics, and a diet rich in purines which are found in red meat, seafood, and alcohol. Additionally, taking certain medications and obesity may lead to developing gout. The symptoms of gout often appear suddenly and include intense joint pain, swelling, redness, and warmth surrounding the affected joint. Gout attacks can be excruciating, and the pain may persist for days or weeks if left untreated. Managing gout involves lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and medications to lower uric acid levels. Prompt medical attention and understanding the causes and symptoms are crucial for preventing and mitigating the effects of gout. If you are afflicted with gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition. 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Craig Foster, DPM from Traction Podiatry Group. Our practitioner will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain – Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort – Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion – May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics – If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications – Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age – Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet – Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol – Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity – Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms–including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.