Gout has been an ongoing medical issue for thousands of years. From the 1960s to the 1990s, gout rates doubled in the United States. Today, an estimated 8 million Americans endure periodic bouts of excruciating pain as a result of gout. This pain stems from a build-up of a substance called uric acid in various joints of the body. Excess uric acid may cause lasting damage in joints and contribute to other maladies such as heart disease, kidney disease and even diabetes. Foot pain, especially in the big toe, is a common symptom for patients in the early stages of gout, but can occur in other areas of the body, especially the hands, wrists, elbows and knees. Whether symptoms consist of occasional flares, or are part of an ongoing presence, the intense pain of gout is the most common result. Through leading medical experts and their patients, we will explore the causes, treatment options, and lifestyle effects of gout. (3505)
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