Gout is caused by the deposition of uric acid into joints. Uric acid inflames and eventually may damage joints. The body is unable to either rid itself or overproduces uric acid.

Early on there is severe pain, redness and swelling in the big toe. It may feel like your foot is being held in a hot oven. The onset of symptoms is typically abruptly and during the night.

If untreated over a period of years, many joints may become involved. Chronic gouty arthritis causes swelling and pain as well as deformity at the wrists, hands, elbows, knees and ankles. There may be deposits of uric acid (which is a chalky white substance) under the skin most commonly on the elbows, hands or feet. Uric acid may accumulate in the kidney causing kidney stones, or deposit inside the kidney damaging kidney function.

The diagnosis of gout is made by removing fluid from a joint or from a tophus and demonstrating the presence of uric acid crystals using a polarizing microscopic examination.

Arrange a Consultant appointment today

Private appointments: 01892 741 127 or email nush@arthritiscentre.org (self referral or via GP or another clinician)

NHS appointments via your GP and NHS hospital central booking system only

Gout is curable. Treatment consists of avoiding alcohol and aspirin and reducing the use of diuretics if this is medically feasible. Inflammation is caused by uric acid in the joints.  This inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory medication, Colchicine, temporary use of oral steroid or joint injections.

A mindmap on Gout