Gout is a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. It causes sudden attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, usually in one joint, especially the big toe.

Gout usually comes on without a cause. But it can be brought on by drinking alcohol (especially beer) or eating seafood and red meat. Taking certain medicines, such as diuretics or aspirin, also can bring on an attack of gout.

Taking your medicines as prescribed and following up with your doctor regularly can help you avoid gout attacks in the future.