Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are the symptoms of gout?"
I'm a 43 year old male and I'm having pain in my foot that seems to start in my toes and radiate up through my leg. Are these gout symptoms? What causes gout?
Gout is a chronic condition of arthritis characterized by an overproduction of uric acid in the blood to form urate crystals that accumulate around the joints, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Therefore, if you have a high level of uric acid you are likely to develop gout. Excessive alcohol use, genetics, certain medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, arteriosclerosis), age and gender (male between the ages of 40 to 50) are risk factors. Gout does involve pain in the big toe, which is also known as podagra. In addition to the big toe, the knee and ankle are the primary areas where gout symptoms are present. It can also occur in hands and wrists. Gout symptoms and signs can present in a number of ways. The most usual is a recurrent attack of pain, redness and tenderness in joints. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that an acute attack can make you feel like your big toe is on fire. Joint pain usually begins over 2-4 hours and the onset is often at night due to the lower body temperature. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first 12 to 24 hours after it begins. Joint pain may occur along with fatigue and a high fever which can be a sign of infection. I would recommend that you schedule a visit with a rheumatologist soon to confirm the diagnosis and seek treatment. Untreated gout can lead to serious complications.