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Gout is a disorder that results from the buildup of uric acid in the tissues or a joint. It most often affects the joint of the big toe. Gout attacks are caused by deposits of crystallized uric acid in the joint. Uric acid is present in the blood and eliminated in the urine, but in people who have gout, uric acid accumulates and crystallizes in the joints. Some people develop gout because their kidneys have difficulty eliminating normal amounts of uric acid, while others produce too much uric acid. The tendency to accumulate uric acid is often inherited. Other factors that put a person at risk for developing gout include: high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, surgery, chemotherapy, stress and certain medications and vitamins. Consuming foods and beverages that contain high levels of purines can trigger an attack of gout. You may be able to reduce your chances of getting a gout attack by limiting or avoiding shellfish, organ meats, alcohol, beer and red meat.

An attack of gout can be miserable, marked by the following symptoms: Intense pain that comes on suddenly, often in the middle of the night or upon arising and signs of inflammation, such as redness, swelling and warmth over the joint. 


Initial treatment of an attack of gout typically includes the following: oral anti-inflammatories, steroid injections, dietary restrictions, fluids, immobilization, and long-term maintenance treatment if needed.  The symptoms of gout and the inflammatory process usually resolve in three to ten days with treatment.


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