WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Conditions

Gout

Inflammation and swelling of a foot joint (Photo courtesy of Jerry Lawrence - Uncle Jerry - flickr)

Nineteenth century American humorist, Ambrose Bierce, defined gout in his Devil’s Dictionary as: “A physician’s name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.” Gout is a form of rheumatic arthritis characterised by recurrent episodes of joint inflammation, but it affects approximately one in 200 adults – most frequently men between 40-60 years of age – whether they are moneyed or not! At any rate, it’s painful. Sufferers have described the pain of an attack as “worse than childbirth” and like being jabbed with a “million tiny white-hot needles.” The pain and swelling of gout are caused by uric acid crystals that deposit in some joints, most notably the big toe, but can also strike the knee, ankle, foot, hand, wrist and elbow. No longer just a “disease of kings”, people who are overweight, have high blood pressure, eat diets rich in protein and consume vast quantities of alcohol have an increased risk of developing gout. And it’s no laughing matter.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I'm 19 years old and my big toe is bent like a claw it's really ichy and it's just starting to get light brown spots on it ive had this as long as I can remember but the pain is getting worse I can't barley walk what could this be?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi I'm 19 and am really suffering with hot itchy and swollen toes! It is becoming very painful even to have a cover over them at night. The only thing that seems to help is to wipe them over with baby wipes as it takes the itching away. I fit absolutely no criteria for Gout but not sure what else it could be - I gave birth 8 months ago but I would have assumed that if pregnancy or childbirth affected any levels of anything the symptoms would have shown before now. Can anyone else think what it may be? I don't want to go to the doctors to waste their time if its nothing!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

All of my toes on both feet like they are on fire. It is even painful in bed. This happened to me about 2 months ago also. The Dr. did bloodwork and said my uric acid was fine. HELP





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm 26 years old and for just short of a year now in had a numb left big toe an if I press down on the toe I get a sore like sensation also in some instances get pins an needle/achy feelings in all areas of my feet and it's hard to walk for a minute or so I'm not sure what it is or weather it's connected to the leg aches I've been getting where it's unconfy to stand or sit.what do you think I should do sorry about the essay hard to explain in words





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Just relax

Hi, im a 61 yr old male, & this is the 2nd time I've had gout in my right toe, very painful indeed, is there any home remady I can take? Im taking a prescribed pill called colchicine ( 500gram) 4 times a day.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Black cherry juice. Seem to help!

quick answer apple cider vinegar mixed with water 1 glass each day.At least 1 litre of water a day.Cut out chicken or reduce the amount you eat and also cut out tomatoes mushrooms any shell fish If still problem go doctor and get Allopurinol take 1 a day

I am 47 year old woman, in January I hurt my foot/ toe by kicking a heavy box. I went to A & E had n x ray and they told me I had fractured it and made an appointment for 3 days later to go to the fractures clinic. I had no swelling just very painful to touch on the foot and toe joint. Fracture clinic said I had arthritis in my toe and sent me away. Still now(April) my foot is still very painful and putting pressure on it is very painful at times. I have had no swelling at all. Should I go back to doctor for further conformation of arthritis.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I am 33 and female. I'm otherwise fairly healthy. I woke up a week ago with a very swollen big toe joint on my left foot. I assumed it was bunions finally getting bad. However, during the day the swelling increased like crazy. I drank a lot of whiskey that night at the super bowl and went to work the next day. The swelling and discomfort got so bad that I finally left work and went to a podiatrist. He said right away, "That is NOT bunions. That is gout." I had no idea what gout was, although I had heard the term. This last week has been very strange with a foot twice its normal size. I had to continue going to my desk job, but walking to do anything was such an uncomfortable ordeal. I had to cut an Ugg-like boot into a slipper because I could not fit my foot into a normal shoe. I had a terrible limp and had a lot of people at work ask what the problem was. I have always been a heavy drinker, but the last month or so it has been almost every night getting buzzed or drunk. I usually drank whiskey. I'm also usually dehydrated due to drinking alcohol and not drinking enough water. I am now finally motivated to stop drinking. I haven't had any alcohol in six days. Whatever it takes to avoid experiencing this again... I find that sitting with my foot straight out in front of me while sitting on the floor brings the greatest relief. Sitting in a normal position with feet on floor causes more swelling and fluid retention in my foot. My foot felt like it would explode. After sitting 10+ hours a day, it was very hard to get up and walk out to my car at the end of the day. I started putting it straight out on a box, and that seemed to help. I also put ice on it as often as I can. I've read that ice isn't good, but I do it because it feels good and takes the swelling down a bit. My doctor told me to take a warm bath, but that hurt the foot like crazy. I'm now at the end of Day 7 and the foot seems to be slowly getting back to normal. The swelling is still there and I still have some pain, but hopefully I can put on a normal shoe in a day or two. I've also been taking Indomethacin since the end of Day 2. It doesn't seem to help much, but that may be due to waiting so long to start medication after my attack began. I wake up in the morning with more pain than other times, and the medicine does seem to lessen the pain. However, it doesn't seem to help with swelling for me.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I've been taking allopurinol daily (now 400mg) started on 100mg..and I've not had an attack of severe gout for more than 10yrs..I have the odd niggle but that's all..hope this helps

cut alcohol altogether and stop eating anything high in purine i e red meat even drinks containing glucose fructose syrup. try eating a lot of fresh black cherries or prommegranete juice or get some apple cider vinegar tablets to control your ph balance hope you get better.

Taking "Go-Out Plex" as a preventive is outstanding. even at the onset of a flare up, Go-Out stops it before it gets out of hand.

Btw, "Go-Out Plex" is not a drug but natural ingredients. I thought it was important to mention that.

I am 17 and have been suffering with chronic gout for 4 years, I don't fit any of the criteria to have gout but my Utica acid levels were off the scales I have been prescribed naproxen, allopurinol and stomach tablets but I'm still in a lot of pain, the only place I don't suffer is my toes, every joint and bone is affected by gout and I'm in extreme pain everyday, I've been back to the doctors and have now been told I have something wrong with my kidneys due to my gout not being treated within 3 months of my first attack, as I have said I have had gout for 4 years and only just been diagnosed with it after repeatedly going back to the doctors! I am a mum to a 2 year old and my problems are now affecting him as I struggle even to get him dressed, gout is a very painful condition and I still don't understand why it is affecting every joint!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Ask for allopurinol ..I take it daily and it stops the attacks

I'm already taking allopurinol but still suffer with severe pain, I have been back and forwards to rheumatology consultants and various specialists but no one has given me a clear idea as to the pain still being there guess it's never going to be sorted out after 4 years and still not been sorted

try eating or drinking something with high levels of cherry in it its a natural remedy not a cure but boy does it help i eat 10 cherries a day i havent had an attack for bout a year im 41 and female i was diagnosed when i was 18 for years i have suffered but found that cherries work well also avoid bakers and brewers yeast that includes alcohol and marmite steer clear of all meat except white meat ie chicken and turkey also no seafood including shellfish no pulses or beans mushrooms cauliflower or broccoli its the high levels of purines in your diet that causes gout amongst other things drastic weight loss and dieting and trauma to the affected area can also cause it hope this helps hun xxx

Stop eating red meat and beer or other alcoholic beverages try drinking black cherry juice will pull the acid out of your inflamed joints.

This might sound strange but try cutting out chicken,Hope this helps

Oh hi Gout pain is terrible , I have been working on a topical skin cream For many years now and it does reduce the severe pain you get with Gout. My family is from Taggart pharmacies of NorthernIreland . This formulation has been cleared by the Therapeutic GoodsAdministration of Australia also manufactured in Australia by a GMP approved company. My web address is www.bigout.net or Facebook #bigout pop on over a have a quick look Thanks steve

Hiya my son was diagnosed with high uric acid levels he suffered with joint pain since 2 yra ols always treated for juvinille athritis at 15 my gp said i want to check his uric levels o laughed said he dont have gout we were both shocked when it came back high he on 600 mg allpurinol a day when we redued to 400 levels shor up ahain was told when it doesnt show in joints it is worse can effect internal organs too and ya likly to get little white lumps called trophi i think its apelt right he is now 21 cannot have a life like normal 21 yr old as he cant drink even going out hard as in lot pain

My husband has got gout and was prescribed naproxen 500mg and stomach tablets. There is now some growth around his ears some white powder stuff comes out of them then some blood.It is difficult for him to sleep on his side as these are on both sides.He has to sleep facing up and it causes him to snore.Our GP advised him there is no medication.Please help .





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi Amanda I have had c,r,p,s, for three years now and I had my left arm amputated and I still have it in my stump but not as bad the worst is the phantom pain, I have now been told that I have c,r,p,s, in my right hand and there is Notting that they can do for me I don't know how long I will have the use off my hand





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Breasts

    In Episodes - In this second of four specials, the Embarrassing Illnesses doctors…

  2. Men

    In Episodes - The EI Docs go in search of the most elusive creature in the doctor…

  3. Vaginas

    In Episodes - The EI team roll into Norwich to setup a clinic in one of the count…

  4. Boys, Boys, Boys

    In Episodes - Episode 3 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies takes a closer look at bin…

  5. Teens Below the Belt

    In Episodes - Episode 4 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies tackles conditions includi…

  6. Am I Normal?

    In Episodes - Episode 2 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies looks at conditions includ…

  7. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision

  8. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  9. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  10. Consultation: Soreness on the Penis

    In Videos - A patient is examined for soreness around his penis

  11. In Detail: Urethral Reconstruction

    In Videos - An in detail look at an operation to reconstruct a man's urethra.

  12. How To Check Your Testicles

    In Videos - Dr Harper's guide to how to self-check your balls against testicula…

  13. Dr Pixie McKenna

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Pixie.

  14. Dr Dawn Harper

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Dawn.

  15. Dr Christian Jessen

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Christian


More Information

Content supplied by NHS Choices

It is difficult to predict when an attack of gout will occur. Symptoms can develop rapidly over a few hours, and will usually last for between 3-10 days. After this time, the joint will start to feel normal again, and any pain or discomfort should eventually disappear completely. Read More »

Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >