Gout is an inflammatory arthritic condition that typically affects one joint at a time. It most often affects the metatarsophalangeal joint (located in one of the big toes), though it can affect any joint.
Gout is typically caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. This can cause uric acid crystals to form in your joints, tissues, and bodily fluids. The condition that typically causes too much uric acid to build up, hyperuricemia, does not lead to gout in all patients and may not always necessitate medical treatment, but it is a risk factor for this disease.
The body creates uric acid when it breaks down purines, which are often found in red meat, organ meats, alcohol, sugary drinks, and certain seafoods such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna.
In addition to dietary choices, however, there are a variety of other risk factors for gout. Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with the disease due to higher uric acid levels, although women approach these levels as they reach menopause.
Additionally, medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, untreated high blood pressure, and heart and kidney diseases all increase your risk. Low-dose aspirin, hypertension medication, and anti-rejection drugs for organ transplant recipients can also make the development of gout more likely, as well as genetics, recent surgery or trauma, and obesity.