What is gout?
Gout is a kind of arthritis caused by uric acid crystals forming in one or more joints. Uric acid is a substance that forms when your body breaks down a substance called purines. This substance normally dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. In people who have gout, uric acid builds up and can then form sharp crystals in the joint space. This causes pain and swelling in the affected joints.
Gout affecting the joint of the big toe
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff