Gout is classified as an inflammatory arthritic condition , and typically involves isolated joints in the lower extremities. The most common joint involved is the big toe joint, although it cam be present in any joint in the foot or ankle. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream, resulting in the deposition of the uric acid as crystals into joints. This results in an inflammatory reaction, and presents typically as a red, hot, and swollen joint. This condition is commonly associated with increased alcohol intake rich desserts, or increased protein intake, and may be a side effect of water pills (diuretics).
Treatment is focused initially on reducing the inflammatory process, and may involve non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), oral corticosteroids, or a teroid injection into the inflamed joint. Long term treatment may include medication to lower the uric acid level or diet modification.