By the way, doctor: How do I avoid gout-aggravating foods?

Q. I have gout. I've read that foods high in purine can aggravate the condition. What is purine, and how can I reduce it in my diet?

A. Gout is a condition that develops in some people who sustain high blood levels of urate (also called uric acid). Urate forms crystals that can settle in the body's tissues. When deposited in and around joints, urate crystals cause the sudden attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in joints that are characteristic of gouty arthritis.

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