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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Gout
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles


Alternate Names : Acute Gout, Gouty Arthritis, Acute Gouty Arthritis

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Gout is a form of arthritis, or joint inflammation, that is caused by increased uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is a chemical produced by the normal breakdown of cells.

What is going on in the body?

Gout results from an excess of uric acid in the body. The excess uric acid is deposited in 1 or more joints, causing arthritis.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid accumulates in the body and may form crystals in the joints under the following conditions:

  • if the person has a defect in metabolism that causes overproduction of uric acid. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes involved in normal body functions.
  • if the kidneys have a reduced ability to remove uric acid from the bloodstream
  • if the person's diet is high in purines, which are broken down into uric acid in the body. Foods high in purines include organ meats, seafood, and dried beans.
  • Certain risk factors increase a person's chance of developing gout or having a flare-up of symptoms once he or she has the disease. These factors include the following:

  • a diet high in purines
  • alcohol consumption
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and other lipids in the blood
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder that causes abnormal red blood cells
  • Gout occurs in approximately 1 in 5,000 people. It is more common in men, although women are at increased risk after menopause, the end of normal menstruation.


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    Gout: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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