Definition of Gout

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Gout: Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis), deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in and around the joints, and decreased kidney function and kidney stones. Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines, that are part of many foods we eat. The tendency to develop gout and elevated blood uric acid level (hyperuricemia) is often inherited and can be promoted by obesity, weight gain, alcohol intake, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, and drugs. The most reliable diagnostic test for gout is the identification of crystals in joints, body fluids and tissues.

Although this is rare, young children can develop gout within any joints (juvenile gout). In most cases, as with adults, signs and symptoms of gout occur in the feet. Genetic conditions that cause an overproduction of uric acid including Lesch-Nyhan syndrome and PRPP synthetase overactivity may cause juvenile gout. Certain kidney diseases can also lead to gout in children.


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