DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gout. Close-up of the foot of a patient with gout, showing an inflamed, reddened area around the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a type of arthritis (joint disease) caused by an excess- ive level of the waste product uric acid in the blood stream. Crystals of uric acid collect inside the fluid-filled space within a joint (often just in the toe joint, as in this case) causing inflam- mation & acute pain. Gout is sometimes associated with kidney disorders, such as kidney stones, and is far more common in men than women. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs to lower the level of uric acid in the blood. Attacks of gout usually subside after a few days.
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