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Gout is a common and very painful type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals form in and around a joint. It more commonly affects men, especially after the age of 40. Gout can usually be well controlled with medicines and changes to diet. Uric acid (urate) is one of the body's waste products. If uric acid builds up in the bloodstream, it can settle in and around joints as crystals. Uric acid crystals irritate the joint, causing the inflammation and pain of a gout attack. People who get gout usually have a high level of uric acid in their blood. Gout commonly begins in one joint, most often the big toe joint, but it may spread to more joints. It often affects foot, ankle, knee, hand, wrist and elbow joints.

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