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Frequently Asked Questions
|What is Gout?|
|Gout Symptoms and Causes|
|Gout Dietary Tips|
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints, often in the big toe. Acute gout is a painful condition that often affects only one joint; Chronic gout is repeated episodes of pain and inflammation.
Gout is caused by the buildup of too much uric acid in the body. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are found in all of your body’s tissues. They are also in many foods - especially seafood, meat and alcohol - that can trigger gout attacks.
Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood. It passes through the kidneys and out of the body in urine, but uric acid can build up in the blood. When uric acid levels in the blood are high, it is called hyperuricemia. Most people with hyperuricemia do not develop gout. But if excess uric acid crystals form in the body, gout can develop.
Over the last 20 years, the United States has seen an increase in the number of citizens suffering from obesity and high blood pressure. It could be that these are both attributing to an increase in gout issues.
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