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Introduction

Knee Pain

Gout

Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It's characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in one or more joints, most often in the big toe.

An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the bedsheet on it may seem intolerable.

Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.


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Causes

Gout is caused by a build-up of a substance called uric acid in the blood.

If you produce too much uric acid or your kidneys don't filter enough out, it can build up and cause tiny sharp crystals to form in and around joints. These crystals can cause the joint to become inflamed (red and swollen) and painful.

Things that may increase your chances of getting gout include:

  • obesity, high blood pressure and/or diabetes

  • having a close relative with gout

  • kidney problems

  • eating foods that cause a build-up of uric acid, such as red meat, offal and seafood

  • drinking too much beer or spirits

Symptoms