Gout is a form of arthritis that can be very painful. Most of the time gout presents as a sudden, severe pain at the base in the joints of the big toe. It may feel as if your toe is on fire and you may have redness, swelling and tenderness of the toe.
Gout is caused by an increased level of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid normally dissolves in the blood and flows through the kidneys into urine. Too much or too little uric acid can build up and form urate crystals that are very sharp and painful. These crystals pass into the joints or surrounding tissue.
You may need to make a change in your diet in order to reduce the uric acid in your blood. Drink more water and reduce your alcohol intake. Increase the protein in your diet with low-fat dairy products and decrease your intake of meat, fish and poultry.
Men are likely to have gout than women and you are more likely to have gout if you already have hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment recommendations, such as anti-rejection medications, low dose aspirin regimen, NSAIDS or corticosteroids. Your doctor will be able to advise you about changes in your diet and you should be able to keep your gout in good control.