January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Gout, a form of arthritis affecting the joints, particularly the rear joint of the big toe. It most commonly occurs in men over 30 and, in some cases, is hereditary. Gout is caused by abnormal metabolism of uric acid by the body. Uric acid accumulates in the blood and is deposited in the joints and other tissues in the form of crystals, known as tophi. The deposition of tophi in the joints causes swelling, pain, and redness. Other symptoms include fever, chills, and malaise. The disease can be acute or chronic. Attacks are often triggered by fatigue, stress, surgery, certain intravenous drugs, or overindulgence in alcohol. Sweetbreads, liver, anchovies, and other foods containing purines (chemicals that are broken down by the body into uric acid) can also cause attacks.


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