Gout is a type of arthritis that causes uric acid crystals to deposit in soft tissue around joints. The deposition of these crystals causes a joint to become red, hot, swollen and extremely painful. Although gout most commonly occurs in the big toe, it can affect any joint in the body. Gout most commonly occurs in men, however women are not exempt. Post-menopausal women, specifically, have a higher risk of developing gout which is thought to be linked to the drop in natural estrogen levels. Research has shown that estrogen aids the kidneys in excreting excess uric acid as it develops in the body. When menopause occurs, estrogen is not helping eliminate the excess uric acid, and gets deposited in the tissues around joints - causing a gout attack.
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