Gout is a painful condition affecting the joints, especially in the toes, and is caused by the deposition of urate crystals. There is either an overproduction of uric acid or an inefficiency in eliminating it from the body. The acidic compound results from the breakdown of proteins, specifically purines. Foods that are high in purines should be restricted or avoided in the diet; they include organ meats, meats, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, chicken, dried beans and peas, turkey, shellfish, and yeast. Caffeine can raise uric acid levels; limiting alcohol consumption can reduce the number of attacks. Drinking a lot of water aids the excretion of uric acid. Being overweight exacerbates the condition and a slow weight-loss program should be followed.

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