Gout is a type of arthritis in which small crystals are deposited form inside and around the joints. It causes sudden attacks of severe pain and swelling.
Gout can be extremely painful and debilitating, but treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and prevent further attacks.
Any joint can be affected by gout, but it usually affects jointstowards the ends of the limbs, such as the toes, ankles, knees and fingers.
Signs and symptoms of gout include:
Symptoms develop rapidlyover a few hours and typically lastthree to 10 days. After this time the pain should pass and the jointshould return to normal.
Almost everyone with gout will experience further attacks at some point, usually within a year.
If you produce too much uric acid or your kidneys don't filter enough out, it can build up and cause tiny sharp crystals to form in and around joints. These crystals can cause the joint to become inflamed (red and swollen) and painful.
Things that may increase your chances of getting gout include:
However, lifelong treatment is usually required.
It's a form of arthritis that causes pain, stiffness, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling in one or more of your joints - commonly the knee or wrist.
Read about gout, a type of arthritis where crystals form inside and around joints. Find out about the symptoms, causes and treatments.
The most common symptom of gout is sudden and very severe pain in one or more of your joints.
Find out about the main causes of gout, and read about what can increase your risk, such as your diet, medications and family history.
Read about how gout is diagnosed, including what your GP may ask and what tests may be carried out.
Read about the main treatments for gout, including ways to relieve pain during an attach and prevent attacks occurring in the first place.
Read about the possible complications of gout, including small lumps under the skin (tophi), joint damage and kidney stones.
Read the story of Gina Beauchamp, who was diagnosed with gout in her late 30s.
Read the story of Patrick Hanmer, who was 32 and living life to the full when he had his first attack of gout.