Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that results from the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Uric acid is a natural waste product that forms when the body breaks down purines, which are substances found in some foods and are also produced by the body. When there is an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream or when the body has difficulty processing it, urate crystals can build up in the joints, leading to sudden and severe pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Gout typically affects one joint at a time, often the big toe, although it can also affect other joints such as the ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists. Gout attacks can be extremely painful and may be accompanied by redness and warmth in the affected joint.
Diet, genetics, and other factors can contribute to the development of gout. Management and prevention of gout often involve lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and medications to lower uric acid levels and reduce the frequency and severity of gout attacks. If you suspect you have gout or experience symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.