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Gout refers to inflamed, painful joints due to the formation of monosodium urate crystal deposits from an excess of uric acid. The increased uric acid may be caused by an overproduction in the body, inefficient elimination of the uric acid by the kidneys, or increased intake of certain foods that metabolize into uric acid in the body (like game meats, kidney, brains, liver, some seafood, some dried beans, and dried peas). Alcoholic beverages and drinks high in sugar may also increase levels of uric acid in the body.

Attacks of gout can be triggered by consumption of alcohol or protein-rich foods, fatigue, emotional stress, minor surgery, or illness. Symptoms can include: severe and sudden pain in one or more joints (most often the joint in the big toe), swelling in one or more joints, discolored (red or purple) and tight skin on joint, warmth in joint area, fever, chills, and hard lumps under the skin.

To make a diagnosis, your Tenet Florida Physicians Services doctor will make a complete physical exam and may collect a sample of the fluid in the affected joint. The fluid can then be analyzed for signs of monosodium urate crystal deposits. If you are diagnosed with gout, your Tenet doctor will talk with you about a treatment plan that may include steroid oral medication or injections, diet and behavioral changes, and some surgical procedures.

Previous Page Last Review Date: January 5, 2018