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Gout usually develops after a number of years of buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints and surrounding tissue. You probably won't know that you have an elevated uric acid level in your blood until you have had your first gout attack.
But you can help prevent or reduce the severity of future gout attacks. To learn more, see Home Treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with gout, you can do a lot on your own to treat your condition.
Decrease the pain of an acute attack
Prevent more attacks
In the past, gout was thought to be caused by drinking too much alcohol and eating too many rich foods. Although eating certain foods and drinking alcohol may trigger a rise in the level of uric acid in the body, these habits may not by themselves cause gout. Gout is most often caused by an overproduction of uric acid (due to metabolism problems) or decreased elimination of uric acid by the kidneys.
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