By Debbie Paddington DipION
Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when you have high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid crystals are deposited in joints, tendons, kidneys, and other tissues, where they cause considerable inflammation and damage. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, substances that are found naturally in your body, as well as in certain foods such as shellfish, organ meats and foods containing yeast.
Normally, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But sometimes your body either produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals, in a joint or surrounding tissue, that cause pain, inflammation and swelling.
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