Gout Facts

Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by inflamed, painful joints and is caused by the formation of crystal deposits at the joints. Learn more ›


Gout is characterized by inflamed, painful joints due to the formation of crystal deposits at the joints. Also known as "the disease of kings and the king of diseases," gout affects more men than women and is often associated with obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high levels of lipids in the blood), and diabetes.

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Gout: An Old Disease Flares Up Again

Gout results from high blood levels of a compound called uric acid. Uric acid forms when your body breaks down purine, a substance common in foods like dried beans and peas, asparagus, salmon, organ meats, and mushrooms. That's how the condition got its royal legacy—tales of kings waking up with a painful toe after a night of overindulgence. High levels of uric acid can cause sharp, needle-like crystals to grow in between joints, causing redness, swelling, warmth, and severe pain. While the big toe is the most common site for gout, the feet, ankles, knees, hands, and wrists may also be affected.

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Eating to Prevent Gout

Gout is a painful condition caused by an excess of uric acid (a waste product made by the body). The uric acid forms crystals that collect in the joints, bringing on a gout attack. Alcohol and certain foods can trigger a gout attack. Below are some guidelines for changing your diet to help you manage gout. Your healthcare provider can work with you to determine the best eating plan for you. Know that diet is only one part of managing gout. Take your medications as prescribed and follow the other guidelines your healthcare provider has given you.

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What Is Gout?

Gout is a disease that affects the joints. Left untreated, it can lead to painful foot deformity and even kidney problems. The good news is that by treating gout early, you can relieve pain and help prevent future problems. Gout can usually be treated with medication and proper diet. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

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Your Guide to Gout

Did You Know?

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Gout – a painful type of arthritis – often first takes aim at the big toe. It also attacks other parts of the body, including fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and heels, causing stiff and swollen joints.