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Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. It causes sudden attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, usually in one joint. It happens most often in the big toe.
Gout usually comes on without a cause. But drinking alcohol (especially beer), eating seafood and red meat, or taking certain medicines, such as aspirin or some diuretics, can also trigger an attack of gout.
Last Revised: October 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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