Doctor's Notes on Gout
Gout is a type of arthritis, or joint disease. It is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals inside the joint cavity. This occurs when there are elevated levels of uric acid within the bloodstream. Elevated levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) can be caused by genetic factors, obesity, chronic kidney problems, and talking certain medications such as diuretics (water pills).An attack of gout usually comes on suddenly and occurs in one joint. The joint of the big toe is a common location, and gout frequently affects joints in the lower extremities. Symptoms of gouty arthritis include severe pain, redness, swelling, and warmth of the joint. Associated symptoms can include the development of hard nodules under the skin called tophi that consist of deposits of uric acid crystals.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.