Gout affects about 6 million Americans. It’s an inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden, severe pain, swelling and tenderness. Gout results from a condition called hyperuricemia – high level of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid forms when the body breaks down waste products called purines.
Although most often in the large joint of the big toe, it can affect other joints including the feet, ankles, knees, hands, wrists, elbows and sometimes soft tissue and tendons. It usually affects only one joint at a time, but it can become chronic and, over time, affect several joints.
Symptoms of gout can be relieved by medication and lifestyle changes such as physical activity and dietary changes.
If you have a question about arthritis, talk with your primary care provider.