Gout

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Geriatrics, Internal medicine


Clinical Definition

A form of arthritis marked by acute and severe attacks of pain, inflammation and redness in the joints, gout commonly affects the big toe and is due to elevated levels of uric acid in the blood and the deposition of urate crystals around the joints. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of compounds called purines--chemicals found in all body tissues and many foods (beer, steak).  


In Our Own Words

Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of compounds called purines--chemicals found in all body tissues and many foods. When uric acid builds up, it can form crystals and when these crystals are deposited around the joint cartilage and released into the joint fluid, painful gout attacks strike. Gout is more common in men than women.

Relevant Conditions
Side Effects
  • Sudden attacks of joint pain
  • Redness and swelling around the joints
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sources
  • The Cleveland Clinic. "Gout." Diseases-Conditions. Aug. 2010. clevelandclinic.org. Accessed July 2013.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Gout: Arthritis Types.” Aug. 2011. www.cdc.gov. Accessed July 2013.
  • Harvard Medical School. "All About Gout" in Harvard Health Letter. April 2010. www.health.harvard.edu. Accessed July 2013.
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