Gout is a type of arthritis which presents abruptly with a bout of terrible pain and redness in one or more joints. The joint most often affected is the base joint of the big toe, but joints in the hands, wrists, knees, ankles and feet can also manifest signs of gout. Men tend to get this condition more than women, though a female's chances of getting it increase once she passes menopause.
Once gout strikes, the worst of it lasts about twenty-four hours, though milder symptoms can remain for weeks. Subsequent bouts tend to get increasingly worse. Those who experience gout often should consider medication to prevent the attacks. This type of arthritis occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause urate crystals to accumulate in the joints. There are medicines to help prevent gout as well as to alleviate the pain.