Gout is a form of arthritis, which begins with the breakdown and elimination of chemicals called pu...
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Gout is a form of arthritis, which begins with the breakdown and elimination of chemicals called purines. Purines are naturally occurring chemicals, which are present in the genetic material of all the cells of your body. They are also found in the cells of plants and animals. The cells in your body are constantly dying and being replaced. Part of this process is the breakdown and elimination of the purines that were in the cells. Your body also needs to break down and eliminate purines from foods you eat. A small number of foods contain high concentrations of purines. These include shellfish and organ meats like liver and kidneys. Purines are broken down in several stages. The last step is formation of the chemical waste product called uric acid. Normally, uric acid travels through your bloodstream to your kidneys, to be eliminated in your urine. But if blood levels of uric acid are too high, needle-like crystals can form in soft joints or tissues. The crystals can cause the sudden, severe pain, tenderness, and redness which are the symptoms of gout. Treatment for gout includes reducing uric acid levels by avoiding foods high in purines.