Gout – Causes, Signs & Symptoms

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Gout is one of the most painful and debilitating joint related issues you can develop, and it’s important to learn more about it so managing it is easier.

Gout - Causes, Signs & SymptomsOf all the different types of arthritis, Gouty Arthritis or gout is one of the most painful and serious that you can develop. It involves some symptoms that are similar to standard arthritis, except in much more severe forms and levels. As a result, it’s important to learn more about its causes, signs, and symptoms so that you can identify the issue and learn how to manage it. While a doctor is needed to make a final diagnosis, learning more about it isn’t hard to do.

This form of arthritis is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Uric acid occurs naturally in the body and in many foods. And usually, the body processes it by filtering it through the kidneys and passing it out in the urine. However, some people simply can’t process the uric acid well enough and as a result it builds up in the bloodstream. When this occurs, small, sharp crystals form and are deposited into the joints of the body. This usually begins in the big toe, but can happen in other parts of the body ranging from the ankle to the elbow to the wrist and beyond.

When those crystals are deposited, a number of signs and symptoms will present themselves. They include:

  • Intense Joint Pain – Again, the pain usually begins in the big toe but can happen in almost any joint in the body.
  • Burning Sensation – In many cases, the sensation can literally feel as though your joints are on fire. Even the touch of a light garment can make it worse.
  • Swelling – The joints usually become highly inflamed, far worse than with normal osteoarthritis.
  • Redness – Additionally, the joints will become very red and tender to the touch. It looks unlike nearly any other condition you can develop.
  • Stiffness – The swelling will also reduce mobility to a point.
  • Lingering Pain or Discomfort – Even after the flare up of pain vanishes, you’ll usually experience pain for several days following. In some cases the flare up itself may last for far longer than a few hours and leave even more lingering pain.

Understanding gout is the first step to overcoming it. Once your doctor makes a diagnosis for certain you’ll be able to start determining how to go about finding relief from this painful condition.