Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by excess uric acid. Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines, which are part of many foods. The uric acid crystalizes in the joints — mainly the toes, ankles, hands and wrists — causing painful inflammation. In severe cases, excess uric acid can cause kidney stones, permanent kidney damage and or even kidney failure. Gout was once called the “disease of kings” because some people assumed that it was related to the types of food and drink that only the wealthy could buy. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, as well as some helpful tips to prevent gout flare-ups!