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A Brief History of Gout

Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:00

Gout is a type of arthritis which causes uric acid crystals to form on joints—most commonly in the big toe. Symptoms may include pain, inflammation, redness, and limited range of motion. Gout was first identified around 2640 B.C. in ancient Egypt, and has been studied by countless scientists and physicians dating back to Hippocrates who called it “the unwalkable disease”. Uric acid crystals from a gouty deposit were first seen under a microscope in 1679, and the 19th century chemist, Emil Fischer’s, work established the relationship between uric acid and purine—which can raise levels of uric acid in the body. Some famous people who may have experienced gout include King Henry III, Sir Issac Newton, Ben Franklin, Sir Lawrence Olivier, David Wells, Jim Belushi, and Jared Leto—after gaining 60 lbs. for a movie role. Risk factors include eating a diet high in purines, a family history of gout, obesity, certain medical conditions and medications, and more. If you have pain or inflammation in your big toe, make an appointment with a podiatrist for an examination.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Romeo Foot & Ankle Clinic. 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 one of our our offices located in Washington, and Shelby Townships, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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