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What is Gout or Gouty Arthritis? Also called “gouty arthritis,” gout is a painful
form of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body.
The painful flare-ups may be concentrated in the big toe (a symptom known as podagra),
as well as swelling and pain in the ankles, knees, feet, wrists or elbows. Flare-ups last
days in the beginning, but can become progressively longer. Left untreated, gout can cause permanent
damage to joints and kidneys, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Gout is most commonly seen in men, particularly those between the ages of 40 and 50. It is
a very common disease. Six million adults age 20 and older have reported being diagnosed
with gout according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases. “Gout is the most common form of inflammatory
arthritis. It is caused by an elevation of serum uric acid levels that cause crystals
to accumulate in the joints, which bring on a gout flare,” Dr. N. Lawrence Edwards, professor
of medicine, rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Florida and chairman
and CEO of the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society, told Live Science.