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Gout

Musculoskeletal

Gout is a joint disease caused by an abundance of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product that our body usually eliminates. If, however, there is decreased excretion or increased production of this metabolite it predisposes individuals to gout. Uric acid turns into a crystal form known as monosodium urate which can deposit anywhere in the body. Most often the crystals deposit in the joints which causes localized inflammation. Resultant symptoms of severe pain are experienced by the patient along with redness and swelling of the involved area. The classical site affected by gout is the big toe, but attacks can affect other joints as well.
Gout is one of the oldest forms of arthritis in recorded history. Gout has been referred to as “rich man’s disease” because of its association with eating meat – an item usually consumed by the wealthy in historical times. Both King Henry VIII of England and King Charles I of Spain are said to have been afflicted by gouty arthritis.

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