Orthopedic Health Data Verified

Gout-Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses, Causes, Prevention

Published on Aug 06, 2019   -  4 min read


Do you have burning pain in your big toe at night? It can be a sign of gout. Read the article to know ways to get rid of this pain

Gout-Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses, Causes, Prevention

What Is Gout?

Gout is a complex form of arthritis, which results from the buildup of uric acid in the body. It causes sudden pain, swelling, and redness in the joints, most commonly the big toe. You might feel like your big toe is on fire, suddenly in the middle of the night. Gout causes bouts of severe pain and tenderness in your joints. It commonly affects men, and it affects woman usually after menopause.

Quick Facts

What Causes Gout?

Hyperuricemia (excess uric acid in the blood) causes gout. Uric acid is produced when purines, which are naturally found in the body and food like seafood and organ meats, breakdown. Usually, the uric acid that is produced, gets excreted through the urine.

But if the body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys are not able to efficiently excrete it, then excess uric acid builds up in the body. The excess uric acid form urate crystals, which get accumulated in the joints. These urate crystals result in inflammation and intense joint pain.

Eating too much of foods like shellfish, red meat, sweet juices, and salt can also result in gout. Kidney problems, thyroid diseases, and medications (diuretics and Cyclosporine) can affect the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid.

What Are the Symptoms of Gout?

Patients usually experience sudden and intense pain, mostly in the night. The symptoms are:

What Are the Stages of Gout?

The four stages of gout are:

  1. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia - This stage is when the uric acid in the blood is high, but no other symptoms are seen.

  2. Acute gout - In this stage, the high uric acid results in the formation of uric acid crystals in one joint. This causes pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected joint. The pain will develop suddenly and last for 3 to 10 days. A person may have multiple such attacks over months or years.

  3. Interval gout - Otherwise called intercritical gout, is the time between two attacks of acute gout.

  4. Chronic tophaceous gout - If gout is left untreated for many years, hard nodules (tophi) form in the joints and surrounding tissue. This permanently damages your joints.

What Are the Risk Factors for Gout?

How Is Gout Diagnosed?

Depending on the clinical presentation, medical history, and physical examination, your doctor will come to a diagnosis. If necessary, you might need to do the following tests:

What Are the Treatment Options for Gout?


Home Remedies:

How to Prevent Gout?

Steps to prevent gout are:

What Are the Complications of Gout?

Some of the complications are:

If your pain is getting worse and gout attacks are becoming frequent, consult a rheumatologist online now.


This is a sponsored Ad. icliniq or icliniq doctors do not endorse the content in the Ad.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Can Trigger An Attack Of Gout?

Some of the main triggers are joint injury, surgery, chronic illness, infection, taking Cyclosporine and diuretic medications, and chemotherapy. The other causes are fasting, crash diet, alcoholism, dehydration, and sweet beverages.


What Is The First Sign Of Gout?

The first signs of gout are sudden and severe joint pain, joint tenderness, and joint stiffness. It usually affects the joint of the big toe.


What Foods Get Rid Of Gout?

Foods like fruits, vegetables, soy items, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products might help in lowering uric acid levels and prevent gout.


What Is The Best Thing To Drink If You Have Gout?

Drinking coffee and cherry juice regularly has shown to reduce the risk of gout.


What Is The Best Painkiller For Gout Pain?

Painkillers like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Colchicine, and Prednisone are effective in relieving gout pain.


How Long Does Gout Last?

The acute attacks of gout can last anywhere between 3 to 10 days.


How To Get Rid Of Gout?

Making lifestyle changes and avoiding foods that trigger gout will prevent acute attacks. During acute attacks, painkillers like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Colchicine, and Prednisone are used.


What Foods Cause Gout?

Food items that need to be avoided are alcohol, red meat, organ meat (kidney, liver), seafood (shrimp, lobster), and sweetened beverages.


How To Treat Gout Naturally?

Some natural treatment includes cherries, magnesium supplements, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and hibiscus.

Last reviewed at:
06 Aug 2019  -  4 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

How to know the reason for my big toe pain?

Query: Hi doctor, I have been suffering lately from pain in my big toe joint. It is very severe that I could not sleep two nights when I ran out of painkillers. I thought it might be a gout attack. Because I do have gout. Though my uric acid levels are mostly high, I do not really watch what I eat. My tr...  Read Full »

Why do the muscles in my thigh get numb?

Query: Hi doctor, My uric acid in blood shoots up to 7.9. I do not have the problem or gout or kidney stones. How to reduce it? I have already started to drink lemon water the whole day. I have attached the photographs. I have only knee pain, which is at the backside of the knee while climbing up and down...  Read Full »

Can x-ray differentiate rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Query: Hi doctor, I have been having joint pain in my left foot on the first joint of big toe for two weeks. It came on upon waking. The pain was inconvenient, but bearable for the first 36 hours. Then, it was extremely painful on the second day ( a worse pain I have ever had). Then, it has got slightly be...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Gout or ?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: All health articles published on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.