Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury


This page has links to information in other languages.

About gout

Gout is a common form of arthritis that causes painful swelling of the joints. It is caused by a chemical in the blood called uric acid. If there is too much uric acid in your blood it turns into tiny, sharp glass-like crystals. The crystals typically collect in a joint and irritate the tissues causing inflammation, swelling, and pain – a gout attack.

To learn more about gout, and how it is treated and prevented, see the Ministry of Health booklet Stop gout.

Pharmac has a resource called Out with Gout that is available in several languages, including Māori, Niuean, Samoan and Tongan.

Gout can damage your joints and your kidneys if it is not treated.

Do I have gout?

If you have any of the symptoms of gout, or you are worried that you might be at risk of getting gout, make an appointment with your GP. Symptoms may come on suddenly and often at night. The most common places that gout occurs are the big toe, knee, foot, wrist, ankle, hand, and elbow.

In this section

Gout tests & diagnosis

Living with gout

Medications for gout

More information about gout

Page reference: 78662

Review key: HIGOU-18727