Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in a high concentration in the blood.
Uric acid is a by-product of purines, which are chemicals that are naturally found in our food. Uric acid may build up because the kidneys have difficulty processing the acid at a regular rate, or because our diet contains too much food that is purine-rich, like red meat, shellfish, red wine and beer.
When uric acid is present in high concentrations in the blood, it can crystallise, causing severe pain and discomfort. For 90% of people, these crystals will develop at either the big toe joint or other joints in the feet. This location in the feet occurs because cooler temperatures promote crystallisation, and our feet are often one of the coolest partest of our bodies.