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Gout. Close-up of the hand of a patient suffering from gout, showing tophi (swellings) in the joints of the fingers. Gout is a disease caused by a defect in uric acid metabolism. Excessive uric acid (and its salts, sodium urate) accumulate in the bloodstream and the joint capsules forming tophi. These are an acute inflammation, with accompanying swelling, redness and pain. Gout has traditionally been associated with "excessive living", in particular overeating and overdrinking. Treatment involves the use of anti- inflammatory drugs and abstention from rich foods and excessive alcohol.
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