Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by severe pain, tenderness and redness in the joints, according to Mayo Clinic. Caused by an accumulation of urate crystals in the joints, gout can strike suddenly; with treatment, it is a very controllable condition.
Urate crystals form due to heightened levels of uric acid in the blood, notes Mayo Clinic. The body creates uric acid when breaking down naturally occurring purines and purines found in foods such as asparagus, mushrooms and organ meats. When the body fails to excrete the uric acid through the kidneys, or too much uric acid is produced, an attack of gout can occur.