Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when crystals of uric acid accumulate in a joint, leading to the sudden development of pain and inflammation.
People with gout either overproduce uric acid or are less efficient than other people at eliminating it. The joint of the big toe is the most common site to accumulate uric acid crystals, although other joints may be affected.
The pain of gout can arise suddenly and is often very intense. The affected joint is usually red, swollen, and very tender to the touch. A low-grade fever may also be present.
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