Gout is characterized by an acute onset of severe pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling of joints. Although gout most often
affects the large joint of the big toe, it can affect other joints such as the ankle and knee. Unlike many other forms of
arthritis, the cause of gout's pain and swelling is well known. In patients with gout, accumulations of uric acid
crystals in the joint results in pain and swelling. As with many other types of arthritis, gout tends to have periods
of flare-ups followed by periods of seeming remission.
People with gout should avoid certain foods that have been shown to potentially increase the level of uric acid their
bloodstream. High levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) contribute to the formation of uric acid crystals in
the joints. The list of foods to avoid includes sardines and anchovies, organ meat (kidney and liver), large portions of
red meat and seafood, and alcohol (beer in particular).
When properly diagnosed and treated with appropriate medications, gout can be controlled and flare-ups can largely be prevented. Proper
treatment is necessary to prevent the permanent damage to joints that can occur if gout is ignored over the long term.
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»Arthritis Centers of Texas is currently conducting clinical research for individuals
with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. If you or someone you know is interested in additional information about
these studies, please contact our Clinical Research Department at (214) 823-6503, extension 234.
Participation in Clinical Research Studies is completely voluntary.
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