DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gout. 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 excessive 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 inflammation and 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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