What Is It?
Gout is a disorder characterized by too much uric acid in the blood and tissues. In gout, crystals of uric acid are deposited in the joints, where they cause a type of arthritis called gouty arthritis. They also can be deposited in the kidneys, where they can cause kidney stones.
There are three main causes of the high levels of uric acid that lead to gout:
Obesity or sudden weight gain can cause high uric acid levels because the body's tissues break down more purines.
In some people, gout is caused by a combination of these factors. People with a family history of gout are more likely to develop the condition.
About 90% of patients with gout are men older than 40. Gout is quite rare in younger women and typically occurs in women many years after menopause.
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