When that question is asked, it should be qualified with; "from who's perspective?" and/or "from the inside or the outside?"

Most often times this question is in reference to the physical appearance of Gout and that is the easiest place to start.

1) Physically

• The presence of Gout is characterized by a "Gout Attack". As an Attack or Flare-up of Gout starts to develop it can have no outward appearance at all. As the "funny" feeling starts to grow, it can take anywhere from minutes to a couple of hours for the symptoms to show noticeable signs.
• As time passes, slowly the swelling usually becomes obvious. This can happen quickly or take up to several hours to "bloom'.
• If some form of intervention is not implemented, the Gout Attack will then go deep and will take on a description of red, hot, and shiny. The swelling can become exaggerated, stretching the skin tight and giving it a shiny appearance.
• Because of the process of Inflammation, the tissues become heated, bringing a mild to deep red color to the skin.
• The inflammation is present due to the needle-like crystals of Uric Acid that have been deposited in the join and are now causing irritation to the tissues inside the joint. The white blood cells and other chemicals advance to the site to protect that area of the body from what it thinks is a foreign invader.

2) Mentally

• This may seem odd to offer this perspective, although it has relevance and importance. Most of the time, when the Pain of a Gout Attack subsides, men (or women) usually think that it will be the last time it will ever happen. This is an erroneous way to "look" at Gout.
• Gout precipitates from many years of Acid Buildup or Acidosis. Although Gout generally refers to high levels of Uric Acid, there are other metabolic acids wastes that also accumulate over time. While this is not a direct cause of Gout, it contributes to the environment or inner terrain that is conducive for Gout to develop.

3) Emotionally

• The perspective of Emotions needs to be included for the simple reason that there is an Emotional component of Gout that deserves some examination. Simply put, due to how we manage our lives, our "outlook" on our life situations and circumstances create various acidic and potentially toxic chemicals; Cortisol and Adrenaline for example.
• Also, the "fear of pain" can start to play a part in the lives of some people suffering with Gout. In cases of Chronic Gout, undue Stress, Worry, and Anticipation can result lost productivity from both a mental and physical standpoint.

4) Spiritually

• This is not meant to have any type "religious" connotation, but is intended more from the perspective of "dampening of one's spirit". Often times, people who suffer with Chronic Gout become despondent and depressed and "look down" upon themselves because of what seems to be their lack of control over the condition. It's not un-common with illnesses and diseases that incur immense pain to induce a state of hopelessness.
• Many men experience a sense of embarrassment for being even temporarily physically impaired. Thoughts of being "less of a man" or "there's something wrong with me" can sometimes overwhelm men until they enter a digressive and detrimental cycle in their lives.

All too often in our modern society we don't take the time to "look at" things from all sides, or more holistically. Gout and the Pain of Gout Attacks can have many more effects and deeper ramifications than we might think if we only look at them from the surface.

Author's Bio: 

Many ask, “what are purines?” when they first get gout. It can be complicated, but simply learning about low purine foods can be the best and simplest answer.

Bert Middleton, The Gout Killer!