Delphine Tuot, MDCM, MAS Content updated on June 16, 2020 - Medically reviewed by Delphine Tuot, MDCM, MAS

Gout is caused by having too much uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is made when your body breaks down chemicals called purines. Purines are found naturally in your body, and can also be found in certain foods. 

When you have gout, your body either makes too much uric acid, or cannot get rid of it well enough. When uric acid builds up in the fluid around your joints, tiny crystals called urate crystals can form. Urate crystals cause gout symptoms, including pain and swelling.

There are several things that can increase your risk of having gout. Kidney disease is one of the leading causes of gout.