Gout is a disorder that results from the buildup of uric acid in the joint or surrounding tissue. Most often, this disorder affects the joint of the big toe.
This is caused by an inability of the kidney to eliminate uric acid. Uric acid is found in the bloodstream and the result of the body breaking down purines, chemicals that are naturally found in our food and bodies. Rather than the body eliminating the uric acid, it crystalizes at lower temperatures and accumulates in the joints. Because the toes are so far away from the heart, they are the coolest part in the body. When the uric acid in the bloodstream passes through the toe, it decreases in temperature, causing it to crystalize and deposit in the joint. Although most common in the toes, gout can affect any joint in the body.