MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Gout is an arthritic disease of your joints, caused by too much uric acid in your body. Normally, your liver processes various substances in your body, including purines, which are components of genetic material found both inside your cells, and in some foods you eat. When your liver breaks down purines, a waste product called uric acid is produced. Your body disposes of this waste through your kidneys, which remove it from your blood. When your liver produces too much uric acid, or your kidneys do not remove enough of it from your body, excess uric acid accumulates in your blood, resulting in a condition called hyperuricemia. Caffeinated beverages affect the waste-removal function of your kidneys by increasing your urine output, which eliminates too much water from your body-- a condition called dehydration. Dehydration can result in a higher concentration of uric acid in your body's fluids. When the concentration of uric acid becomes too high from any of these sources, it can no longer stay dissolved. The excess uric acid begins to form needle-like crystals inside your joints, most commonly in your big toe. Formation of uric acid crystals leads to an inflammatory response. White blood cells from your immune system attack the uric acid crystals, resulting in joint pain and inflammation. This is called an acute gout attack. If left untreated, elevated uric acid levels may result in lumpy deposits of uric acid around your joint, called a tophus, causing additional joint pain and disfigurement. Treatment for acute gout attacks includes, colchicine to prevent or reduce joint inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation, including aspirin, ibuprofen, such as Advil, Motrin, and Nuprin, naproxen, such as Aleve and Naprosyn, and steroid drugs such as prednisone. Treatment for chronic gout includes, drugs that promote uric acid excretion, and drugs that inhibit uric acid production by your body. Lifestyle changes to prevent recurrent or chronic gout include, reducing red meat and shellfish in your diet, limiting the consumption of alcohol, which is high in purines, limiting caffeinated beverages, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water.