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Why do people get gout?

Gout is caused initially by an excess of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). Uric acid is produced in the body during the breakdown of purines - chemical compounds that are found in high amounts in certain foods such as meat, poultry, and seafood.

Normally, uric acid is dissolved in the blood and is excreted from the body in urine via the kidneys. If too much uric acid is produced, or not enough is excreted, it can build up and form needle-like crystals that trigger inflammation and pain in the joints and surrounding tissue.