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Health Corner: Gout

goutThis is the beginning of a series of topics that I want to provide some brief education about. This time, the topic is about “gout” or “gouty arthritis”. Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the 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, but it can occur in other joints as well.

The exact cause of too much uric acid in the blood is sometimes unknown, but one speculation is that it can be inherited.  Some foods like seafood, red meat, certain medications like some diuretics and aspirin can also trigger gout attacks. Some other conditions that may trigger a flare-up are: being overweight, regular use of niacin, major illness with rapid weight loss or high blood pressure, surgery. The key is monitoring what foods and drinks that are ingested that trigger episodes of attack and to avoid those.

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