ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gouty hand. Coloured X-ray image of the hands of a patient suffering from gout. The joints between individual bones are clearly swollen and arthritis has caused bone erosion in several finger joints. Gout is caused by a defect in uric acid metabolism. This causes an excess of uric acid & its salts (sodium urate) to accumulate in the bloodstream and the joints. These collect in the joint capsules causing an acute inflammation, with accompanying swelling, redness & pain. Gout has traditionally been associated with overeating & overdrinking. Treatment involves the use of anti- inflammatory drugs & abstention from rich foods & excessive alcohol.
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