Gout is a form of arthritis. It causes pain and swelling in your joints. For many people, it starts in the big toe.


Gout is caused by too much uric acid in your body. This is a waste product that's made when you digest some foods and drinks. It's normally carried through your blood to your kidneys, and then you eliminate it through your urine. If you have gout, your body can't get rid of uric acid fast enough. It builds up in your blood and collects in your joints in the form of crystals. Your immune system responds to these crystals, causing gout symptoms to flare and creating pain.


An attack of gout comes on suddenly, often at night. Here are some ways you may experience it:

  • Feel it in your feet, ankles and knees
  • Affect your hands, wrists and elbows
  • Your joints become painful and swollen
  • The skin may be red and warm
  • Your joints may feel stiff

Your first attack may last from three to ten days. If you have another attack, it may be months or years later. As you have more attacks, more joints may be involved.


Gout is treated with medications. Willis-Knighton primary care providers in  Shreveport and Bossier City can recommend medications for fast relief. Exercising regularly and losing weight may also help. You may also be able to reduce your risk for gout attacks by avoiding foods and drinks that can raise levels of uric acid in your body. Some examples are red meat, seafood, alcoholic beverages and drinks that contain fruit sugar. Your healthcare provider can recommend a plan that's right for you.