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