Gout is a medical condition that usually presents withrecurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis (red, tender, hot,swollen joint). It is caused by elevated levels of uric acidin the blood. The uric acid crystallizes and deposits in joints, tendons, andsurrounding tissues. Gout affects 1% of Western populations at some point intheir lives.
Treatment with NSAIDs, steroids,or colchicineimproves symptoms. Once the acute attack has subsided, levels of uric acid areusually lowered via lifestyle changes and long term prevention with allopurinol.
Gout usually presents as recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis (a red, tender,hot, swollen joint). The joint that is most commonly affected is the first metatarsalphalangeal jointat the base of the big toe(approximately 75 percent of first attacks) and when this occurs it is known aspodagra. The reason gout usuallypresents in the feet is in part due to the lower temperature.
People with long-standing hyperuricemiacan form tophi(uric acid crystal deposits) in tissues. These are usually hard, non-painfuldeposits. Extensive tophi that invade bone are associated with arthritis due tobone erosion.
Elevated levels of urine uric acid can lead to uric-acid crystalsprecipitating in the kidneys which may form kidney stonesand lead to urate nephropathy.