Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused when uric acid crystals build up in a joint. Usually, uric acid is processed through your kidneys; however, when you have gout, your body either produces too much uric acid, or your kidneys don’t remove enough.
Gout frequently affects the big toe, but it can cause pain and swelling in any joint. The joint becomes red, swollen, and painful. It may feel warm to the touch. Gout symptoms tend to occur in flares. A flare may last from a few days to a few weeks.
Gout flares tend to be associated with eating certain foods. Foods that may contribute to a gout flare-up include:
- Red meats
- Organ meats (liver)
- Purine-rich seafood. (anchovies, sardines, scallops, tuna)
- Alcoholic beverages, especially beer
- Drinks sweetened with fructose