Gout: Explained


The amount of uric acid in the body may be high either due to overproduction or to underexcretion by the kidneys. This accumulation of uric acid can lead to the development of “needle-like urate crystals” either in a joint or in the tissue around a joint. These crystals might draw white blood cells to the area, causing the pain characteristic of gout. Certain types of food and medication can cause uric acid concentration to increase. For instance, seafood and red meat are both high in purines (a compound that creates uric acid when metabolized). Drinks and foods containing high fructose (sugar) concentrations, as well as alcohol, are also linked to the development of gout. Additionally, specific diuretics, immunosuppressants commonly used in organ transplants, and low-dose aspirin can all increase the amount of uric acid in the body.
Review Date: 
October 15, 2015

Last Updated:
October 20, 2015