Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by having too much uric acid in the joints. Uric acid is formed from the breakdown of purine, such as those found in purine rich foods.
People who suffer from gout do not go through the body’s normal cycle of dissolving uric acid. Instead it remains in the body forming hard uric acid crystals that cause joint irritation and destruction. This results in pain and swelling of the joint.
It can affect any joint of the body but is more common in the weight bearing joints of the feet and more specifically the big toes. It is more prevalent in males who are overweight, drink alcohol or have high cholesterol and women who are post menopausal.