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Tuesday, 15 August 2023 00:00

Four Stages of Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that often affects the joints of the big toe, and is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals. There are four distinct stages of gout. The first stage, known as asymptomatic hyperuricemia, is characterized by high levels of uric acid in the blood without any noticeable symptoms. The second stage is acute gout that occurs when uric acid forms crystals which begin to deposit in the joints. This can lead to sudden and severe pain, swelling, and redness. If left untreated acute gout can progress to the third stage, known as intercritical gout, or the interval between gout attacks. During this phase, patients can experience periods of remission where symptoms subside, but it is essential to maintain proper management and lifestyle changes to prevent future flare ups. The final stage is chronic tophaceous gout, which occurs after repeated gout attacks. In this stage, large uric acid crystal deposits called tophi, can develop beneath the skin surrounding the joints and in other tissues. Tophi can lead to joint damage and deformities. Early detection and appropriate management are key to preventing the progression of gout. If you believe you have gout, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for treatment options. 

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.


  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Chandler, and Phoenix, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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