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Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone, and is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, and redness in one or more joints, often the big toe. In the middle of the night, the symptoms of gout are:

1: Severe joint pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers.

 The pain is likely to be more severe within the first 4 to 12 hours after it begins.

2: Constant discomfort After severe pain subsides, joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks, and subsequent attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.

3: Inflammation and redness. The affected joints or joints become swollen, painful, warm and red.

Gout occurs when urate crystals build up in your joint, causing inflammation and severe pain from a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines, substances naturally found in your body.

Purines are also found in some foods, including red meat and organ meats, such as liver. Purine-rich seafood includes anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, and drinks sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose) promote high uric acid levels.

Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the kidneys into the urine, but sometimes your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid. When this happens, uric acid can build up, forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals in your bloodstream. The joint or surrounding tissue causing pain, inflammation and swelling.