Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing the inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines — substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods, such as organ meats, anchovies, herring, asparagus and mushrooms.
Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.
Dec. 06, 2011
- Gout. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/gout.asp. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Gout. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/crystal-induced_arthritides/gout.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Becker MA. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of gout. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Becker MA. Treatment of acute gout. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Hayman S, et al. Gout: Is a purine-restricted diet still recommended? Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009;109:1652.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Oct. 25, 2011.
- Demio PC. Gout. In: Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Yu K-H, et al. Dietary factors associated with hyperuricemia in adults. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2008;37:243.
- Becker MA. Prevention of recurrent gout. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Zimmerman B. Gout. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Questions and answers about gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Gout/default.asp. Accessed Oct. 24, 2011.
- Neogi T. Gout. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:443.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.