Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. It causes sudden attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, usually in one joint. It happens most often in the big toe.
Gout usually comes on without a cause. But drinking alcohol (especially beer), eating seafood and red meat, or taking certain medicines, such as aspirin or some diuretics, can also trigger an attack of gout.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology