If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with gout, you may be looking for more information about gout so you can better understand what it is, what it’s caused by, and what you can do about it.

Continue reading to learn all about gout, including its symptoms and treatment options.

What Is Gout, and What Causes It?

Gout is actually a type of arthritis that can cause attacks of sudden stiffness, swelling, and burning pain. These symptoms will occur within a joint, and they also often affect the big toe. If you don’t begin treating gout, these painful attacks will continue to recur, and over time, the attacks will harm the tissues, tendons, and joints in the areas where they occur.

This condition is actually the result of having high levels of uric acid within the blood. While a lot of uric acid in the blood isn’t usually harmful, there are cases in which it can cause the formation of hard crystals within the joints.

Individuals who are overweight, who consume a lot of fish and meat, and who drink a lot of alcohol are more prone to getting gout. Also, there are some medications, including diuretics, that can cause gout.

What Are the Symptoms of Gout?

The most common symptoms associated with gout include:

· Attacks that occur at night and result in sharp pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness in the big toe
· Painful attacks that occur in the knees, ankles, feet, or other joints
· Attacks that last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before resolving
· Limited range of motion

What Are the Treatment Options for Gout?

Now that you know a bit more about gout and what causes it, as well as what its symptoms are, you’re likely looking for solutions to this health problem.

First off, it’s important to talk to your doctor even after your gout pain has resolved because the uric acid that has built up in the blood could continue harming the joints.

If you visit your doctor during an attack, he or she may give you a corticosteroid injection, or you may get a prescription that you can take at home to manage the symptoms until the attack goes away.

Talk to your doctor about changing your diet, as what you eat may contribute to gout. The more you know about this ailment, the more power you’ll have to prevent it from recurring.