Gout is a condition in which the joints become inflamed and swollen, especially the joint at the base of the big toe. However, gout is also commonly experienced in the foot, ankle and knee joints, as well as those found in the hand, elbow and shoulder. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Gout sufferers are almost always adults, and the condition appears to afflict more men than women, especially those over 60 years of age. Risks increase with age, a family history of the condition, obesity, alcoholism and the use of certain drugs. Recognizing the symptoms of gout may initiate prompt treatment and relief from discomfort.
Pay attention to any sudden pain in the foot, especially pain that occurs in the area of the big toe. This pain may be surprisingly severe.
Watch for any signs that a joint is swollen.
Feel the joint. Is it hot? Warm or hot joints in the painful area are a classic sign of inflammation.
Take your temperature. Often, those suffering from gout experience fever, chills and chronic fatigue.