What Causes Gout?

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By kyle
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With as many as 8.3 million people living with gout in the United States, the condition has become more common as obesity rates continue to rise. Gout can cause extreme pain and discomfort, with frequent attacks that can lead to serious impairment and even permanent damage to the joints and other parts of the body.

Fortunately, with the right medication and lifestyle changes, living with gout can be more bearable. Read about this condition to learn what causes gout, how it can be treated, and which prevention methods are the most effective.

1. What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can affect any joint in the body but most often occurs in the big toe. It is also common for people to experience gout in the knees, ankles, fingers, wrists, elbows, and heels. The condition only affects one joint at a time and typically happens in flares, with periods of no symptoms followed by times where symptoms are severe.

For people who get frequent flare-ups, gout can eventually turn into a more severe, chronic position called gouty arthritis. Recurrent attacks make it difficult for people to perform everyday activities as it may be too painful to do so or the actual joint may be too damaged to function.

Gout

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