Definition and Underlying Causes of Gout

Gout is a painful form of arthritis that results from the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This condition can affect anyone, and it typically targets the big toe joint. A noticeable symptom of gout is intense pain, swelling, and redness in the affected joint, often occurring suddenly and causing discomfort that can last for days or weeks. The primary cause of gout is an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperuricemia. Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines, which are found in certain foods and are also produced naturally by the body. Factors such as genetics, a diet rich in purines, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity can contribute to elevated uric acid levels. Treatment of gout typically involves managing pain during flare-ups with anti-inflammatory medications and lifestyle modifications can help to reduce uric acid levels. Long-term strategies often include dietary changes, weight management, and medications to lower uric acid production. By understanding gout’s definition, causes, and appropriate treatment options, individuals can take proactive steps to alleviate pain and prevent future attacks. If you suffer from 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 Kenneth H. Nixon, DPM from Western Reserve Foot Clinic. Our doctor 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 Stow, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.