Visibly, gout commonly presents with swelling and redness at the base of the first toe, although other joints in the feet and body may also be affected. These signs almost always occur abruptly, at night and without warning, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Intense pain and limited range of motion in the affected joint may also accompany visual symptoms. Gout occurs when high circulating levels of uric acid in the blood lead to the formation and accumulation of needle-shaped urate crystals in a joint. Uric acid is produced naturally in the body, but also comes from breaking down certain foods that are consumed. Normally, uric acid is excreted through the kidneys, but sometimes the body produces too much uric acid, or kidneys excrete too little.