Can Gout Spread?
Yes, gout can spread throughout the body.
More Info: Gout is not a communicable disease, so it can not be spread to other people. It can, however, spread through an individual's body as the condition worsens.
What Is Gout?
Gout is caused by excessive levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Sometimes, instead of being properly metabolized, the uric acid crystallizes within a person's joints and nearby tissues. This causes swelling, pain and stiffness, most often in the hands or feet. Now, the accumulation of uric acid crystals is a gradual process that can go on for quite some time before becoming painful. In early cases a gout attack may be limited to a mild reaction in only one area but as more crystals are deposited it becomes increasingly likely that other joints will be affected as well. If gout is left untreated long enough you might even start seeing "tophi" in other spots, which are lumps of crystallized urate that form under the skin. If enough uric acid solidifies in the urinary tract it can even lead to kidney stones.
It is often thought that sedentary lifestyles and overly rich diets cause gout or at least contribute to it. In the past it was called the king's or rich man's disease for its prevalence in the upper classes; for much of human history the wealthiest citizens were the only people with enough luxury to grow obese and rich diets with unlimited access to meat, seafood and alcohol. With our ubiquitous fast food and T.V. dinners, gout has become a bit more common.